Identity Crisis Part 2 – Eluding the Hunt (Shadowrun)

This was the second part of a two-part adventure I ran at Phantasm – Gamer’s Equinox in March 2014.  Without the first part, the opening scene of this run, might not make a ton of sense.

Scene 1 – After the Crash

The sun is shining on the Caribbean Sea as the runners float adrift on the ocean waves after the plane they were aboard was taken down by an anti-aircraft missile. The runners are injured and their mark, Casey Hubbard, while still alive, still nurses a broken leg, even after any magical healing available has been attempted. They had been attempting to get the man to Caracas to deliver him to Mr. Johnson, but at this point, their odds of making a timely delivery are starting to look bleak.

According to their commlinks’ GPS, the closest island is Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Whether they head for land or try to make it to Caracas on their own, it isn’t long before they hear motors inbound. A small fleet of boats converge on their location and judging by the slap-dash method they have been upgraded and armored, these are not government vessels. A group of Zobop pirates converge on them and surround them. If they attempt to use magic to conceal themselves, the magicians onboard the ship unravel the spells to reveal their location. The pirates primarily speak French, but one of the men barks orders at the runners in English that they need to throw their weapons overboard and surrender. One of the pirates still carries the missile launcher used to bring down their plane.

The runners have a tough decision to make: they are surrounded by hostile pirates who have magical support and several animated corpses. But remaining adrift is no way to complete their job. The runners will need to get aboard the pirate ships and commandeer one of them. They lack the fuel to reach the Caracas harbor, so they will need to return to Port-Au-Prince in order to secure transportation that will take them where they need to go.

The Pirates are Grunts with a professional rating of 4 with one Lieutenant per ship.

The runners find evidence on the ship that the Zobop were paid by Telestrian to watch for the plane and take it down of spotted.

Scene 2 – Voodoo Influence

The pirate boats are nearly out of fuel by the time the runners pull into Port-Au-Prince. Haiti never recovered from its ever-present third world status and that is obvious the moment the runners set foot on the island. Hovels have been erected in the shadows of buildings that were never rebuilt after the last natural disaster rolled through. The streets are degraded to the point where even bicycle travel is treacherous at best. However, crime is rampant here, which means the runners can acquire equipment and transportation with the proper application of funds.

Shortly after stepping off the pier, they are approached by a man with a facial tattoo of an ornate skull superimposed over his features. The crowd seems to part as he moves through over toward them.

A moment, please,” he says with a French accent. “I have a business proposition for you, ladies and gentlemen.”

He introduces himself as Francoise Dechaine, a man of some influence in Port-Au-Prince. He says that since they came into port aboard one of his boats, but they are not his people, he assumes that they are not men to be trifled with. “But neither am I…” he warns them.

He wants no interference from the runners on his turf and so he insists that they do business with him while in Haiti. While Francoise can get equipment the runners are after, he charges an exorbitant price for everything. He will also lend them a ship that will get them to Caracas, where one of his men will retrieve it and use it to bring merchandise back to Haiti.

Francoise is a self-serving and deviant man. The mark-up he charges is mainly because without his backing from the local voodoo priests he has pretty much killed off competition out of fear. As for the ship he plans to lend them, he doesn’t expect to get it back. It is barely seaworthy anymore and once they put into Caracas, he hopes the Olaya Cartel will kill them for pulling into harbor in a rival’s boat.

Once the runners are armed and have transportation (they could either steal a plane or bribe (substantially) a pilot to take them, if they don’t want to take the Zobop up on their offer. The local Mob, the Batistas, are the only real other power player in town. However, getting a flight to Caracas means that they will need to deal with backlash from the Zobop. The soldiers fight partially out of devotion and partially out of fear. They will attempt to draw blood, so they can bring a ritual sample back to their masters for whatever nightmares the Voodoo priests can concoct.

If the runners take the Zobop offer, the ship will limp into Caracas, but upon arriving, the ship will be firebombed and sank behind them, as they are attacked in the harbor by the local Cartel.

Whether they deal with the Zobop or the Olaya, the NPCs are Grunts of Rating 4. Either party will have magical support. The voodoo priests will use the Loa to bolster their soldiers strength, while the Olaya, will summon spirits of the Jungle to assault and outflank the runners.

Scene 3 – Offloading the Cargo

At this point, the runners are finally in Caracas. While they may need to conceal themselves from the Olaya Cartel, the Bio-Fine/Horizon building looms high over the city streets, making their objective easy to locate, despite the sprawling metropolis. When the runners contact Mr. Johnson, he is a little displeased that it took them so long to deliver their quarry, but asks them to come to the Bio-Fine tower to deliver the merchandise.

When they walk in the door, security converges on them and whisks them away from public view to an elevator just off the lobby. The elevator takes them up the tower, giving them a panoramic view of the city while taking them directly to an upper level suite where Mr. Johnson is waiting. He welcomes Casey and motions for him to come over to the desk, where Mr. Johnson plugs his terminal into Casey’s datajack, enters a lengthy encryption key and issues the safety that deactivates the dead-man’s trigger they installed in Casey’s headware.

As the data comes in, Mr. Johnson takes a phone call from his superiors. The data Casey is carrying is extremely sensitive and there are concerns that the runners may have been told information by Casey relevant to the data. Mr. Johnson preps credsticks to hand to the runners, but instead of credsticks, it labels the runners as hostile targets for building security. The moment the runners accept their payment the tinted windows overlooking the city become transparent and the bullet-resistant protective layer retracts. Security guards turn on the runners, the elevator goes into lockdown and drones drop down from the rooftop and spray the interior of the room. Mr. Johnson is marked as safe by the smartgun systems, but he will still seek cover from both security and the runners, if available.

With no payment forthcoming, the runners need to decide things quickly. If they want to find another buyer, the data Casey is carrying is now at least partially decrypted. Not enough that the runners can discern its content yet, but they can safely download it without killing Casey (though with bullets flying around, Casey is likely to be shot and killed anyways). They will also need to escape Bio-Fine. A hacker could potentially unlock the elevator, but there will be security waiting in the lobby. There is also a hidden door that leads to a concealed stairway. It is monitored by cameras.

Either way, the runners will have to try to find a way out that won’t get them shot and killed if they are to have any luck in finding a new buyer for the data. If they take the time to fully decrypt the data themselves, they will find that they are carrying evidence that Telestrian was trying to bury, outlining environmental violations, assassination orders and blackmail material that had been stolen by Aztechnology. Telestrian went to great expense to retrieve the information. They compartmentalized it, and had the masked file encrypted by a lead developer before they were to ship it off and have it destroyed. Before they could have the compressed file destroyed, Casey stumbled onto it, mistaking it for something else.

If they decrypt the file, the option to sell it is vastly reduced, as the runners are now aware of the truth and it marks them as targets to anyone who knows what they carry.

>> Wow, a run that went that far sideways… I’d be returning home (after finishing the job, of course… got my rep to maintain), tracking down Mr. J and carving my hazard pay bonus out of his ass.
>> Havik

>> Why go to all this trouble to avoid some bad press?  Barely seems worth it.
>> Varley

>> Telestrian isn’t as big as the Big Ten.  Word gets out that they were messing with the adults, and Telestrian will see themselves dismantled by much more influential players.  Sometimes, when you’re a small player with big plans, burying the truth deep is far better than trying to use PR in face of those who are better at it than you.
>> Kingpin

~ by 1nsomniac on July 30, 2014.

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