Contraband by Nature

The runners are contacted through their usual channels for a meet with their fixer at 9PM.  The meet is on the third level of Dante’s Inferno.  If pressed, he explains that the job is a “discrete destruction” mission.

Dante’s Inferno is its usual hotspot and if the runners show up too close to the meet time (and aren’t willing to grease the palms of the bouncer), they will be late.  The third level is the first of the elite tiers of the club and is far less busy than the two upper levels of the club.  They find their fixer sitting at a corner table awaiting their arrival.

“Glad you guys could make it.  I have a job that said it is a rush job that requires some discretion.  Don’t worry, I’ve already negotiated the price up from the initial offer, due to the short timeline and restrictions.  Those of you who did business with the whole tempo debacle may remember a company called KondOrchid.  They’re primarily a shipping company, but in light of the whole tempo business, they’ve been trying to clean up their image and have branched off into a few other ventures.  They’re in a business partnership with a health food organization called Nature’s Bounty.  Apparently, someone has taken offense to their latest product, Tropical Crunch and wants you to destroy the first batch.”

“The trick is, the product has already been shipped and is available at the Northgate Mall.  They’re attempting to see what their market demographic is, but the only ones really able to afford organic foods are the upper class.  The Northgate Mall is a ritzy mall with designer clothing stores, three nightclubs and fine dining establishments, open 24/7.  Nature’s Bounty has set up a sales kiosk in the main thoroughfare.  You’re being paid to destroy all unsold Tropical Crunch bars, as soon as possible, to minimize market demand.  The client is willing to pay each of you 7500¥ plus incidental expenses for this task.”

The job is being sponsored by Amazonia’s DMAIC.  KondOrchid secured plants from the rainforest that are protected by the nation’s government as belonging to the Native tribes of the rainforest.  They’ve thrown false information out that the job is being sponsored from within KondOrchid, as several of the plant materials used in the product have not been properly approved by local food administrations.  It is posed to look like an internal struggle.

Negotiations in the early stage are fairly rigid, as the job (on paper) is fairly straightforward, though there will be room for further negotiations afterward in the face of any complications.

The kiosk is brightly lit and in the center of a wide hallway between stores.  It is manned at all hours by one or more people and mall security is always on the lookout for troublemakers.  The mall security system is redundant and state of the art, making the Matrix here saturated with advertising.  The security system has very limited wireless access (high level countermeasures, unless with a pre-registered commlink).

Security personnel are not allowed to bring their work commlinks or ID badges home, only being allowed into the security room with a visual scan by security and an astral check by the local security mage.

To complicate matters, Nature’s Bounty have handed samples of their product to local shops in the mall to be handed out as a business draw.  Those products will need to be destroyed as well.

Mall security’s first response to anything abnormal is to notify Knight Errant and since the mall is an AAA security area, they will arrive quickly.  The runners will need to complete their task quickly and quietly to avoid becoming blocked in by the security forces.

The kiosk are manned by three different teams at all times (rotating in 8 hour shifts).  Each team is a combination of Nature’s Bounty salespeople and KondOrhcid reps.

Morning Shift (8AM-4PM)

The brain child of Tropical Crunch bars is Ernesto Nunez.  He mans the booth during the morning shift with his wife Elicia.  They are consummate salesman, knowledgeable about the product and genuinely good people.  They are joined by an elven woman named Reona Westgate, a number-cruncher from KondOrchid, who is tracking sales progress of the product, to see if the joint venture is worth pursuing beyond the opening push.

Afternoon Shift (4PM-12AM)

The main salesperson on the floor is a gorgeous Latina elf named Felicity Dias.  She’s had several professional surgeries to augment her already natural elven beauty and she uses her winning smile and ample curves to draw in would-be buyers.  Her counterpart is a dwarven man named Richard Evans.  Richard works the kiosk while Felicity works the crowd.  He ensures the displays all always stocked and is pleasant as he rings in all purchases.  KondOrchid has sent a senior manager (Corey Fedesma) to oversee the operation of the kiosk.  Rumours suggest he is sleeping with Felicity and judging by how much time he spends studying her backside, there may be credence to the rumours.

Overnight Shift (12AM-8AM)

There are only two people in the kiosk overnight, as mall traffic is much lower (and what passes through is often stoned or drunk from the nightclubs).  Nature’s Bounty have employed James Roth, an actor currently out of work, who spends the majority of his shift, applying for bit parts and watching porn.  His associate (Hiroshi Uchikatsu) is supposedly a KondOrchid “efficiency specialist”, but he is an initiated adept, hired as an extra security measure.  KO knows that there are things about the new product that some back home would not be happy with and his job is to ensure that nothing threatens the business venture in the overnight period.

If the runners try the product for themselves, it is a little dry, but has a pleasant flavour.  An hour after consumption, they benefit from +1 Perception and +1 to Fatigue tests, from the Awakened seeds pressed into the bars.


Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (2)

0 – That some kind of plant?
1 – A shipping company out of South America.  They handle a lot of shipping out of Aztlan, Caracas and Amazonia.
2 – Company nearly folded after their ties to the Olaya Cartel and Tempo were revealed.
3 – They’ve been desperate to clean up their image to remain in business.  They’ve been making deals with local companies, sponsoring their products in exchange for handling distribution exclusively.
5 – Word has it, KondOrchid still has operatives working in the rainforests, bringing out goods that are under Amazonian protection.

Nature’s Bounty
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (3)

0 – Sounds like a hippie movement…
1 – An organic food company out of Cajamarca, Peru.  With the poor so rampant in that part of the country, the Shining Path took it upon themselves to turn the farming into a corporate venture.
2 – The company sells the product with North American and European clients in mind, but the workers see little of the money.
3 – Seeing it as a match of convenience, the disliked Communist party agreed to work with KondOrchid in order to open up shipping options to their target market.
5 – While most of the ingredients of their new product are grown locally, some were supplied by their new business partners.

Tropical Crunch
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (3), Consumer Goods (2)

0 – That some new Latino rave group?
1 – Marketed as a healthier alternative to granola bars, the bar is made of nuts and grains from South America, formed using locally created honey.
2 – The company that manufactures it has taken flak from environmentalists of the region, for including products not supposed to be sold outside their own borders
3 – On top of being all natural, it is supposed to have extra health benefits.
5 – Some reports say that Awakened plant life was used in the manufacture of the snack.

Ernesto and Elicia Nunez
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (2), Consumer Goods (2)

0 – Who?
1 – The owners of Nature’s Bounty and creators of several locally-inspired organic products.
2 – They’ve invested a lot of their livelihood in the company, so they take a very hands-on approach to the sale of their products
3 – They are well-respected in the community and give a lot back to the farmers that make their products’ ingredients.
5 – Shining Path appears to be bankrolling their company and if they don’t tow the communist line, they may lose everything.

Felicity Dias
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Media (2)

0 – News anchor, right?
1 – Felicity Dias is the screen name for a porn star in Bogata.
2 – Her real name is Lisa Tavares.  She is the daughter of two farm hands in the Cocaine plantations surrounding Bogata.  She was spotted by one of the Cartel members and sold into the porn industry.
3 – Despite it being forced upon her, she loves the level of celebrity she enjoys and has used her fame to wriggle free of the Cartel’s grasp.  She is now freelancing outside the porn industry as a model and spokeswoman.
5 – The Cartel still feels they own her.  She has been sending money to her parents to help them out, but the Cartel is trying to back trace the money to reacquire they’re grip on her.

Hiroshi Uchikatsu
Thresholds – Matrix (2), Corporate (2), Shadows (3)

0 – He hosts one of those weird game shows.
1 – Hiroshi is a freelance security specialist from Kyoto, Japan.  He arrived during the JIS occupation of Peru.
2 – He made a name for himself for seeing a corporate spy and first responder to anti-corporate threats in Lima.
3 – He chose to remain behind and aid the Shining Path instead of assisting the reconstruction of Japan, though it is unclear of his reasons.  The leading theory is that money speaks louder than nationalism.
5 – Hiroshi is an adept of some level, but his skills have stagnated of late.  Some speak of a tempo addiction that held him back for a while.

>> Seriously?  Why would I stake my rep on destroying hippie food?

>> I’m gathering there’s some atypical food stuffs in it that someone doesn’t want on the street.  Given the whole tempo thing, do you really want to chance that this isn’t something similar?
>> X

>> Hell, if nothing else, destroying these foodstuffs could open the door to stealing some real high end stuff from the mall.  Might pick up some nice lingerie for my girlfriend… can’t afford to spend that kind of money on so little fabric, but if it’s just sitting there… then I just need to get her to model it for me. 😉
>> Reaper

>> Keep dreaming, chummer.
>> Malys

~ by 1nsomniac on February 21, 2013.

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