Carnage and Lies

The runners are contacted by their fixer in regards to a sudden job that has occurred from a recent headline that has been all over the news over the past 12 hours. A large commercial freighter, while sailing into Seattle, suddenly sank without warning, spilling its contents into Puget Sound. Environmental crews are scrambling to contain any potential environmental catastrophe, but in direct conflict with these efforts is the investigation into the disaster.

Nautical Nightmare Article

News Article of the Busan Maru

Their fixer asks the team to meet with their employer at the Gray Line Restaurant at 9PM to go over the details. The meet is in the lower level during high tide, allowing the runners to see into the murky depths of Puget Sound, this portion of the Pacific thus far unharmed by any spillage from the freighter disaster. Mr. Johnson is an Asian man in a suit and square-framed black glasses. When he speaks, his English is perfect, speaking with little trace of an accent. “I’m glad you were able to come. Please, we have business to discuss and time is against us.”

An array of appetizers sit on the table as the team settles in and Mr. Johnson gets right to the point. “I’m sure if you’ve been watching the news, you’ve heard of the accident with the Busan Maru. There is still no indication as to why she sank without warning. Because she was sailing past Fox Island, there is a lot of finger pointing at the Salish Nation and GreenWar has claimed responsibility for sinking her, though there has been no indication by naval tracking buoys of any kind of explosion that would have taken her down. My superiors want answers as to the nature of the accident, however, due to the presence of nearby corporate facilities and the high likelihood that magic of some sort was used, the DIMR have been called in to oversee the investigation. We fear that they will conceal the true nature of the accident and there will be insufficient evidence to make a proper claim on the loss of the vessel.

“Therefore, I have been authorized to hire privately, to ensure that the information we receive is accurate and complete. We are prepared to authorize the payment of 7500¥ each for the documentation as to why the Busan Maru sank and who is responsible.”

The runners should be able to piece together quite easily that Mr. Johnson represents Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, the shipping company that owned the Busan Maru. With the DIMR already researching the wreckage, time is against the runners and if they choose to re-negotiate on price, the tight timeline will work in their favour.

If the team agrees, Mr. Johnson grins broadly. “Excellent. I have some data for you that I hope will aid you. It contains the Busan Maru’s course, shipping manifest and personnel list. If there is anything else you require in aid in the investigation, you can contact me on the provided commcode.”

Investigation on the runners’ part can learn a few things: the area the freighter went down is crawling with ships. Some are for the expedition and the others are to repel would-be intruders. DIMR has also set up shop on Fox Island to compile the data they’ve retrieved as well as watch the locals for signs of involvement in the accident.

Going over the personnel files with a fine-tooth comb will reveal that a disgruntled member of the crew, Takeshi Sakamoto, had been approached by GreenWar to sabotage the vessel in exchange for a sizeable amount of money. Sakamoto was a low-level mage, who used his gifts for ensuring nothing got on board without their knowledge. Nothing on his file indicates he was powerful enough to even remotely damage the ship.

At the DIMR diving site, rumours already abound that the first diving expedition was lost as they explored the hull of the ship. Whether the team decides to investigate firsthand, or wait until DIMR uncovers something will be up to them.

Eventually, they will find a small carving out of bone that appears to be a wolf-like totem covered in Asian script (an analysis of the letters will show it to be Mongolian and very old). Aside from being a valuable historic artifact, a magical analysis at first reveals nothing, but eventually reveals that the item is the host for a potent Trickster Free Spirit. Upon being discovered, it opens an astral window and pulls the team inside the metaplanes.

The team finds themselves in the middle of a vast and near-featureless desert. Nothing here behaves the way it should: the sun rises and falls in random parts of the sky, the day is cold and night is hot. The spirit on its home turf will constantly antagonize the runners. The edges of the desert never draw nearer, they are unable to find water, and whenever they try to sleep they find themselves under attack…

When the team stop responding to the perceived threats the spirit gets frustrated and will finally emerge to engage the party. If the team looks ready to vanquish the spirit, it pleads with them to let it live, reminding them that they have no way back to their home plane without it. The team will need to bargain with the spirit to get home and hopefully not yield too much in order to secure their escape.

Once free of the metaplanes, they need to bring any evidence they’ve amassed back to their employer in order to get paid. If they’ve filmed their experiences or stolen research data from DIMR, it will be sufficient enough evidence.


Mr. Johnson
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (2)

0 – You’re kidding, right?
1 – His name is Date Uchimatsu. He is a senior executive with Mitsui Shipping North America.
2 – He’s not typically a recruiter for Shadowrun, though Mitsui has hired runners before to investigate mishaps on their ships.
3 – Despite shipping for several of the megas, they’ve managed to maintain their independence by their reputation and history alone. They like a dynasty of the old Japan and no one wants to mess with the way it works.
5 – Mitsui has been caught shipping refugees and contraband on occasion, but each time they get off for having enough “presented ignorance” to get off on a warning. Maybe this accident was a result of that?

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (2), Smuggling (2)

0 – Sounds Japanese. What do they make?
1 – A company founded in the 19th Century in Japan. They’ve been shipping all sorts of goods around the world for nearly 200 years.
2 – They were nearly wiped out a couple of times by economic crises. Each time they rebound stronger than ever.
3 – Even though they’re a Japanese company, they are an equal opportunity employer (orks and trolls make good physical labourers). They’ve recruited people from the megas to help them make better business decisions to survive in this cutthroat age.
4 – Their fleet is one of the most ecologically sophisticated, though there are rumours of forged credentials and illegal smuggling, to help make the bottom line.

Takeshi Sakamoto
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (3)

0 – Who?
1 – Takeshi is a near-washout from the University of Tokyo’s magic program. His gift was weak and he struggled to complete the basic requirements.
2 – Being magically active, Mitsui offered him a job aboard their fleet, telling him he would see the world and make a difference by ensuring safety on a vessel.
3 – He has lodged several complaints about being undervalued. He was trained to use spells like Translate and Catalog, to ensure they weren’t being duped into carrying anything unregistered and he styles himself a security mage.
5 – Phone records show, that he has been contacted by GreenWar, offering him the option of being trained in combat, if he helps them deliver a message to the shipping industry.

>> You know, I’ve been shot at, stabbed and attacked by angry spirits… but there ain’t no way you’re getting me underwater.  God only knows what might be living in the waters of Puget Sound…
>> Havik

>> Whatever made that ship go down would have to be pretty big… what are the odds it might still be down there?
>> Kurrupt

>> I’d wager not very high… what could sink a ship that size and still remain intact?
>> Page

~ by 1nsomniac on February 2, 2013.

2 Responses to “Carnage and Lies”

  1. I really like the set-up for this one. In addition, the wreck element has a nice way of combining the runners’ being competent, with putting them out of their depth (so to speak). Very nice!

    • Glad you like it. It was unique when I ran it for my group, as the team tried to figure out how to operate stealthy underwater, where none of them had any training. The tension was high as the team explored the sunken ship for answers as to why it sank, worrying that the ship might shift or something large and dangerous might be lurking in the murky water. Overall, a really good run.

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