Pinocchio Part 4 – Soul

Once again the runners are called upon by their fixer for a job.  The employer is allowing him/her to handle the meet and has indicated that time is of the essence.  They ask to meet them at Club Infinity around 9PM to discuss the job.

Infinity is its usual self:  packed with a line-up around the block.  Thankfully, dropping the fixer’s name at the door gains them access instantly.  The club’s claim to fame, their state-of-the-art sound and holograms are in full swing and the modern décor is a big change from the bulk of the places the team usually conducts their business.  Inquiring at the bar will see them directed to the private rooms at the back.  He/she seems to have gone the extra mile and sprung for a Ultraviolet room, which sported the best anti-reconnaissance measures in the building.

Inside the well-furnished room, the décor was tasteful and comfortable, but all connection to the matrix beyond the room was cut off the moment the door closed.  “Glad you guys could come.  You guys need anything before we get started?”

The fixer will order from the bar anything the runners feel they need and wait for the food and/or drinks to be delivered before proceeding.  “All right.  I’ve got a line of work that was directed solely toward you guys.  In recent memory, you guys have done an assortment of jobs for Horizon.  Someone is trying to connect the dots on this one and wants you guys to hit Horizon and steal a data file from them that they believe will answer the question as to what’s going on.  They are concerned with the disappearance of Allison Draeper and the death of Marcus Hale, but all indications point that even that one was an inside job.  Mr. Johnson has allocated enough funds at the start up for 10,000¥ apiece.  He is unwilling to pay an advance or negotiate up front on the price, but if you can complete the task without alerting anyone within Horizon, the price can certainly go up considerably.  What are your thoughts?”

The team will likely not be amused by the lack of flexibility in the price, but the fixer will hold firm on the offered price, even if the team threatens to walk away.  Mr. Johnson is Gepetto, using an anonymous identity to try and throw the runners off his tail.  The data file they are going to extract is he himself, in an attempt to escape Horizon and find a home in the liberated drone they stole for him in Part I.

If the runners are on board, he/she nods.  “All right.  I’ll let him know.  The file is on a server in the central Horizon building Downtown.  It’s a rather large case study called ‘A Study on Robotic Sentience’.  Horizon has been offering safe haven to AIs since the whole technomancer reveal and it appears that they’ve been doing a case study on what makes them tick.  Your employer would like to see what they’ve learned.”

Raiding the primary Horizon building may seem like a daunting task.  Normally security would be at its peak at a facility like this, but Gepetto is working to unhinge the security grid a little to give the runners holes to exploit.  Being in control of the drone grid, he is adding deliberate holes in the patrol grid and, if the runners are really careless, suppressing the alarms when they stumble into the technological sensors of the building.  There are spiders in the system, but Gepetto aims to keep them in the dark as much as possible.  Of course, once he’s been extracted from the system, the runners are on their own.

The Horizon tower is a sleek, modern pillar of sculpted glass in the heart of the downtown.  The latest in ARO technology drapes the exterior, conforming to the Emerald City motif, yet injecting some of their own media flair into the hologram.  The grid responds to nearby commlinks, showing ads for Horizon trideo shows that the user has watched, advertising movies that fit their profile and even tailoring avatars to gender and racial preferences of the person, tailoring all advertisements by using the image of custom generated people that the user would find attractive.

The tower is 110 floors.  The lowest three floors are a large rectangular, open-concept space, filled with billboards and serving as a base of operations for Horizon’s media conglomerates.  Every employee here has some acting experience and is either naturally beautiful, or has had cosmetic work done to make them so.  The next five floors are smaller than the media floors, but not yet part of the undulating glass pillar above.  This is Horizon’s conference center and broadcast area.  Sound studios for local programming, advertising agencies and board rooms for negotiating new programs and time slots dominate these floors.

The upper reaches are divided amongst divisions and projects.  Some blocks of floors are allocated to movie production, script appraisals and sound editing.  Others are devoted to PR, contract negotiations and deal making with Horizon’s subsidiaries.  Due to Horizon’s constant internal shifting from the P2.0 Rating system, these floors also seem to be in a state of flux.  Layout is identical on each floor, so that as departments shift, internal organization remains constant.

Commlinks inside the building are assumed to be running Active and any who aren’t will be immediately detained by security and questioned.  If the users do not own a copy of P2.0, they will be offered a trial copy while in the building (if deemed that they are supposed to be there).

The file that Gepetto is using as the bait for the runners does actually exist but is a small document, stored on one of the servers in the upper levels of the building.  As the runners get close to the target Gepetto will embed himself in the document and encrypt it (making it practically unbreakable for the players, unless one is a technomancer).

Horizon has all the resources available to an AAA megacorp, so technological and magical sensors are all throughout the building.  The runners will have to do some serious planning to figure out how to get inside without raising any alarms.

Horizon Seattle System

Sculpting:  Modeled to look like one of their ultra-clean lobbies, the architecture is done up in a modern office-chic appearance.  There is always a window looking out over the Seattle skyline, with the sun setting over the ocean in the distance, with the Horizon logo emblazoned on the glass.
Hardware:  10 MCT Sentinel II (Persona Limit 10, Processor Limit 60) that serve as the employee hubs.  A highly customized Evo Mobile Terminus (Persona Limit 20, Processor Limit 50) serves as the security hub.
Authentication:  Employee Nodes – Passkey, Security and Admin – Alchemical Passkey
Priviledges:  Standard
Attributes:  Employee Nodes – Firewall 5, Response 5, Signal 4, System 6
Security and Admin – Firewall 7, Response 8, Signal 2, System 8
Spiders:  A team of two trained Spiders to oversee system maintenance and 3 security specialists
IC:  One MCT Bloodhound 5 per server, One Rumpelstiltskin 5 per server.  If the security/admin system detects a breach it loads a Renraku Oniwaban 6 to try and take down the offending hacker.
Resident Programs:  Analyze 6, Encrypt 6 on all systems
ARC:  Scramble Security Hackers
Topology:  The system is broken down across numerous individual nodes, each one corresponding to a specific series of floors for the different teams to use.  Information can be shared across nodes on the same servers with ease, but divergent projects are typically stored on separate servers.  The Security and Admin servers have one-way SANs into each of these systems, so they can respond quickly to any perceived threat, without betraying any means of accessing the security system.

Regardless of their planning and how they plan on conducting themselves, as they are about to go into the building one of the runners receives a call on their commlink.  The heavily distorted voice on the line tells them to walk away from this one.  They offer no reason as to why and keep the call very brief to avoid any attempt to trace them.

The mystery caller will call again mid-job, as they near the objective and tells them that if they don’t turn back and walk away, they will alert security to their team’s presence.  If the runners still refuse, he makes good on his promise and the alarms go off, telling security where each individual runner is in the building and kicking any who are logged into the network out, dumpshocking them.

The mystery caller is Pulsar, the AI spokesperson of Horizon.  He has learned of Gepetto and his bid for freedom, about the team’s involvement and the ultimate fate of Allison Draeper.  He knows that if Gepetto gains freedom and acts as Pulsar expects, it will be a potential PR nightmare for Horizon.

With security alerted, any previous access point to the network sealed off and their objective in sight the team will need to decide whether to cut their losses and run, or press on and grab their objective.

Should they complete their task, they have heavy leverage to increase their pay and Judge will make sure they get it.  The runners are given instructions to deliver the file to a man in an office at an old industrial park.  Once the runners deliver the file, Gepetto is transferred down the street to the complex where his new body awaits.

>> OK, going straight into the Regional HQ of one of the Big Ten is just ridiculous.  Count me out.
>> Felix

>> It might not actually be that bad.  After all, who’s insane enough to try?  It’d be the last thing they’d expect.
>> Crazy Carver

>> Has anyone taken a step back to look at the last handful of jobs out of Horizon?  Anyone else disturbed by what it shows?
>> Wraith

~ by 1nsomniac on December 7, 2012.

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