Opium Kings (Shadowrun)

The runners are contacted by their fixer to meet with a foreign Mr. Johnson for a job involving some travel. While Mr. Johnson hasn’t expressly mentioned the nature of the work, he promises fair compensation. While the team’s fixer has no personal experience with this particular Johnson, his reputation is clean. The meet is set up for 9PM on the fourth level of Dante’s Inferno.

Scene 1 – Hallo, Mein Herr

Dante’s is its usual busy spot, so the runners showing up early to deal with the line up is prudent. The bouncer is willing to accept some cash to expedite their entrance, especially if they drop their fixer’s name at the door. They are given a pass that get them access to the fourth level (Greed). While the main floor is jammed with people, the lower levels are emptier, giving room to move around and socialize. The levels above have different things to offer (Lust has scantily clad dancers, Gluttony has large portions from the bar). Greed features food and drink using real ingredients (and all items are extremely expensive).

Mr. Johnson is a square-jawed European man, savoring a German beer. As the runners arrive, he flashes a bright toothy smile and says “Guten Tag.” Once the team has all gathered, he introduces himself as Herr Schmidt, speaking in a lightly German accent. “Thank you for coming on your fixer’s word. I have a matter of some urgency I need taken care of and due to the area of the work, I cannot trust local talent to preserve my employer’s interests. My employer, as well as several other companies, had a plane with talented individuals aboard. It was to travel from Neo-Tokyo to Singapore for an employee retreat, but along the way, a team of shadowrunners hijacked the plane and redirected into the Indochina Peninsula. It was tracked until it crossed into the airspace of Thailand at which point, the local governments became uncooperative in tracking the plane. We believe the plane landed on Burmese soil, but the government there is so corrupt, they likely aim to benefit from whatever they want the plane for. Therefore, we wish to fly you out to Indochina to track down the plane and find out what they’ve done with two of our people: Chelsea Collins and Kiefer Wagner. Bring them back alive if you can, but if they have been killed, bring evidence as to how and why. They are far more valuable to us alive. We will cover your travel expenses, as well as pay you 10,000¥ apiece for your services.”

Herr Schmidt is really Heinrich Meier, an established Johnson for Saeder-Krupp. His reputation for fair treatment and no nonsense methods precedes him wherever he goes. He is a known troubleshooter for S-K, addressing issues anywhere Lofwyr deems.

Once the runners negotiate and agree to the terms, Schmidt nods. “Excellent. Given the unorthodox and vague nature of the work, I give you the option for where you’d like to touch down. We can fly you directly into Burma in either Rangoon or Mandalay… or a neighbouring, more corporate friendly nation and leave crossing the border to you. What works best for you?”

The runners will have obstacles no matter where they land, but their choices are Rangoon (Burma), Mandalay (Burma), Chiang Mai (Thailand) or Lashlo (Shan State). Rangoon is a congested mess that is difficult to navigate. Mandalay is more rural and in the heart of the drug runner’s sphere of immediate influence. Chiang Mai is part of the military junta of Thailand and near the front of the Karenni Enclave of Burma. The border is in a state of flux, but it means crossing a warzone. Lashlo is reliant on the Burmese drug trade for its economy, but the corporations are in growing influence here. They can enter the country easier, but getting into Burma legally can be tricky, as the border is very closely watched for the near constant smuggling activity.

Scene 2 – Chop Shop

There is no ideal option for arriving in Burma. It is unlikely that the runners will speak the local language (only 14% of the population speaks English), so they will either need Linguasofts or go it alone. The one English speaking border smuggler in Thailand that will help them into Burma is a naga named Hsing. Hsing can aid them through the Karenni front, having scouted out patrols and knowing where the armor divisions are stationed. If the runners are willing to grease the palms of both Hsing and any patrols they stumble upon, they can get in without violence. If they arrive via Lashlo, they will have drug runners looking to defend their routes or border guards who will highly doubt that anyone not involved in drug trafficking would want to get into Burma.

If the players fly into Burma directly, they will encounter one of two issues. Flying into Rangoon means getting stuck in endless traffic jams for hours at length before they can get outside the city’s limits. It will be the best Matrix access they get, but local resources will be dodgy at best, thanks to the saturating prevalence of the opium market. Flying into Mandalay means they will be immediately pegged as outsiders in the cartel’s turf and be tailed the entire time they’re in Burma.

Regardless of the obstacles with getting into the jungle, doing a local search and bribing the locals, they can learn of an abandoned military base west of Mandalay that would have a runway large enough to land a plane of the size they’re looking for.

The military base has been converted to a smuggler hub, with anti-air defenses and several intercept vehicles that will run down and kill anyone trying to get onto the grounds. The plane, or what’s left of it, is here being carved up and sold to anyone willing to pay for the parts. One of the hangars has been converted to a prison to hold the passengers until they can find buyers for those in the sex trade or the corporate sector. The team will need to breach the defenses of the base, the soldiers and the runner team responsible for the hijacking to reach the prison and search for the required passengers.

There is a wealth of things in this facility the runners can walk away with, being that it’s an illegal facility. The equipment is all a few years old, but is serviceable. Some of the passengers had work data on their commlinks, or trinkets in their luggage. Some of the minds in the prison could be worth money to other corps, if they want to stoop as low as the men they are fighting. Any weapons they steal are free of tracking RFIDs, so they could keep them, but nothing there is extraordinary.

Naturally, several of the passengers are missing from the hangar, including Chelsea Collins (Kiefer Wagner is a little roughed up, but alive and present). If any of the hijackers/soldiers are still alive, they can be interrogated to find out that the people were sold to a slave ring in Rangoon. The computers in the old command center can provide a commcode for the slavers that be traced to a business on the Rangoon waterfront.

Scene 3 – Vice and Decadence

If the runners have never been in Rangoon, they will become acutely aware of the traffic in the city the moment they arrive. The traffic is so snarled up in the core of the city that walking would be faster. However they choose to cross the city, the waterfront looks like a cross between the Las Vegas strip and a scuzzy pirate’s wharf. Illegal casinos, brothels and opium dens make up the bulk of the tourism district along Rangoon’s waterfront. The address they traced the slavers to is a waterfront casino, whose underground is a slave market place with a private harbor to send any sold people to their buyers. While there are some legitimate tourists in the building many of the people inside are criminals who won’t take kindly to their business being disrupted. If the runners conduct themselves carefully, they should be able to avoid conflict for a while, but eventually, they will need to confront the slavers to try and find Chelsea Collins. The casino is full of people who will actively oppose them and for an added curveball, a boat can leave the underground with Chelsea and a couple others on board for private sale in Thailand. The runners will have to chase down the boat and get her back.

With both passengers rescued, they can call Herr Schmidt for transport back home and for getting payment.

>> A plane went down in that part of the world?  You might as well cut a check for the families and wash your hands of the whole thing.
>> Machete

>> Wow, you’re a regular saint.  I don’t fault your appraisal of the region, but it’s a cold thought all the same.
>> Filipirate

>> You just need to make sure you are well stocked in bullets and cred.  If bribing doesn’t work, the loss of a limb should deliver the message.
>> Rangoon Runner

>> Keep an eye on the local kingpins.  When stuff like this goes missing, they move quickly to make it vanish into the jungle for good.
>> Luck-E-1

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~ by 1nsomniac on November 4, 2015.

One Response to “Opium Kings (Shadowrun)”

  1. >> If anyone takes the job, I suggest looking for Kuhn Thura’s “Emporium shope” in Rangoon. Find him in the Pabdan block. Tell him you come from Sweeper, and he’ll provide you with good corporate weapons, provided you agree to close your eyes on where they come from.
    >> Sweeper

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