A House in Chaos (Shadowrun)

This was a run I put together for Phantasm in late 2015.  This was using some of the core plot from 5th Edition as an exercise in paranoia.  It went pretty well.  😉

The team s contacted by their fixer about a job that will require some travel and involves some risk. The fixer will explain in greater detail if the meet him at the Renton Hole in the Wall at 9PM.

Scene 1 – Crossing the Pond

The Hole in the Wall bar is a seedy runner bar, buried beneath street level in Renton. The food is cheap, the booze is reasonable and privacy is assured. The place is busy as usual, but mentioning their fixer’s name sees them directed to a room in the back of the bar. Despite the appearance of the bar, the back rooms have been sound-proofed and hacker proofed to ensure the privacy of the teams meeting in the space.

Once everyone has arrived, the fixer sits everyone down and jumps into the business at hand. “All right, thank you all for coming. I have a task of some difficulty I need to have addressed for a client. However, he requires a team to do some field work abroad and bring the objective back to him. Mr. Johnson is after a medical prototype that is being designed by Proteus AG. It is a form of multi-phase medical injector, triggered by very specific biometric reading. Mr. Johnson is intrigued by the mechanics and the stimulus required to activate the device. The device is currently undergoing testing at a Proteus facility in Bremen. Therefore, Mr. Johnson would like to fly you out to the city, have you break into the Proteus facility and steal the prototype and bring it back to Seattle intact. Mr. Johnson will cover your travel expenses and pay you 10,000¥ each for the task at hand.”

Mr. Johnson represents Evo, more specifically, Crashcart. With the CFD infestation spreading, they are curious about what Proteus has developed, however, the Proteus facility making the device has gone quiet of late and they need infiltration experts to break into the compound. Locals know about the lockdown of the facility, so they are hoping foreigners aren’t up on European affairs.

The fixer will allow for some negotiations, to a maximum of 12,000¥. Once they agree to the terms, the team’s fixer tells them that air travel to Bremen has been arranged and that they fly out on the red-eye in a few hours. Getting equipment on the plane may be tricky, but Mr. Johnson is willing to arrange having reasonable equipment waiting for the team on the ground in Germany (reasonable being left to GM discretion, but typically small caliber weapons and concealable melee weapons).

Proteus AG

AA Corporation

Corporate Contact (1)

1 – Proteus is a AA corporation that is famous for its underwater operations, including the use of “arkoblocks” or aquacologies.

2 – The are also involved in undersea drilling, shipbuilding and biotechnology.

3 – After the Romo incident in 63 (Proteus attacked Ares naval assets and the Romo Arkoblock was vapourized from orbit by Ares), Proteus has been under a tight leash by the Corporate Court. Most of their public releases get screened by the Court.

5 – Proteus has fallen strangely silent in recent months, despite their technology being essential for the colonization of Mars.

Scene 2 – Welcome to Germany

The flight to Germany is uneventful and when the runners reach the ground in Europe, they find that they have a car waiting, along with the equipment they requested. Bremen is a corporate city in the North German League, with all the AAA corps and numerous AA all calling the city home. As a result security here is pretty tight, but on the other side, being a harbor town after the Black Tide, the influx of trade from around Northern Europe has made the language barrier less challenging, with English being quite prevalent in comparison to other German cities.

Despite the presence of all the big players, the number two corp in the city behind Saeder-Krupp is Proteus. With the Black Tide reclamation projects being vastly possible due to Proteus’ involvement the company has several facilities all over the city. The facilities in Bremen are all strangely quiet. Only the shipyards on the waterfront seem to still active in the city, where the rest are running quiet, with extreme amounts of physical security around the perimeter.

The runners are likely to want to find out two things: why are the buildings on lockdown and where is the prototype they aim to steal?

Unfortunately, the runners can’t seem to dredge up any facts on why the Proteus buildings in the city have been sealed. There is intense speculation in the shadows, everything from a Corporate Court enforced embargo on the company to a rogue AI being unleashed on their network. The one element of Proteus still open to the public are the shipyards, but the employees have been more exposed to the rumours than the company line (which is an update to the city-wide infrastructure). Tapping into the servers at the shipyards and using them to gain access to the central Proteus network reveals the truth: Proteus has had a bad run with an outbreak of CFD and is trying to keep the problem from escaping out into the city.

The second problem is locating the R&D project they’re out to steal. If they are able to breach the firewall and learn about the CFD infection, they may also be able to learn the location of the project. Otherwise, they may need to locate a Proteus technician who managed to avoid the lockdown, or find a reliable source from a competitor, like Crashcart. In any case, they learn that there is an arkoblock a couple miles off shore where the biotechnology research was being done on extreme pressure environments. Unfortunately, the facility is also on full lockdown. The runners will need to get to the aquacology and gain access while not being gunned down by security.

Scene 3 – Breaking the Blockade

Once the runners know where they have to go, they need to figure out how to bypass the blockade. Due to the suspicions of the Corporate Court, the area has respectable coverage over the area, so they will either need to pay a pilot insane enough to attempt to run the blockade, or steal a vehicle of their own to break through.

Since Proteus owns the shipyards, they monitor the naval traffic closely and if the runners steal a ship that hasn’t filed a navigation plan (or one that has that they don’t follow), the security forces are quickly dispatched. If the runners opt for approaching by air, there are airborne drones and anti air defenses around the arkoblock that will attempt to take them down.

This scene should encompass the plan of the approach, the chases as they approach. Once they arrive on the arkoblock, a helicopter closes in and demands that they stand down, but if they still attempt to override the lockdown, the helicopter attacks and spirits manifest. Once the doors open, they can duck inside and the surface forces will not pursue them out of fears of what lies within.

Scene 4 – Silicon Contagion

Once inside the Proteus arkoblock, the violence of the outside world is shut out for the relative silence of the inside of the building. The building has been completely cut off from the outside world for over a week. The upper-most floors are vastly unaffected by what’s going on below and they are desperate for information on what’s going on, as well as knowing why they have been prevented from leaving.

The woman that works reception perks up when the outer door opens, but when those that enter are not Proteus employees, she dutifully alerts security while trying to deal with the intruders as pleasantly as possible. Being sealed into a building for over a week has started to fray the edges of her temper and may be short with the runners with certain lines of questioning.

Once security arrives in the form of a single guard, he demands to know what’s going on if the runners pass themselves off as Proteus resources, but otherwise surrenders his weapon quickly, knowing he’s horribly outmatched. He berates his employer for locking him down below with no chance of reinforcement and is willing to tell the runners what little he knows of the situation.

The lower levels of the arkoblock were devoted to medical R&D, trying to develop treatments for diseases in high and low pressure environments for both deep sea and space missions. However, during a period of testing, an alarm sounded and the head of security authorized a full building lockdown, though none of the environmental sensors had gone off, mentioning unleashing a contagion. The lockdown message went to HQ and Proteus went so far as to tell people that they were quarantined until further notice.

The guest quarters were opened up to outside employees who were now stuck in the building and the food stores were rationed. The R&D wing was sealed and no one was permitted to enter or exit under any circumstance. Unfortunately, much of building security was in R&D, trying to contain whatever was going on when the lockdown kicked in.

Amongst the deep sea and deep space research they were doing, Proteus was also working on treatments for flushing CFD from a patient’s body. However, the testing was not going well and the sample of CFD they used was not properly contained. As a result, the nanite disorder has been infecting many of the research team and the personality changes have begun to manifest. When the head of security recognized the signs of fledgling head cases, he ordered the lockdown to try and contain it.

Despite the efforts of the lockdown, the CFD infection has not been contained. With its capability to infect technological systems, it has wormed its way into the arkoblock’s system and has been working at taking over the building. When the guard has “said too much” the automated turrets in the lobby deploy and look to cut down everyone, including the guard and receptionist.

If either employee survives the attack, they will tell them that the number of technological glitches is on the rise since the lockdown and that the security rigger had been looking into the issues. They can provide the runners the room where the rigger is staying.

They find a small cluster of drones that mill about the hall near the rigger’s room, seemingly buzzing around at random, though two combat drones hover outside the door and given the two bullet-riddled bodies in the hall, they are not overly accepting of guests. The rigger is a headcase, who got infected from servicing the networks when systems began getting unreliable. He has only recently become aware that he suffers from missing time and his alternate persona is getting out more often. When the runners get into the room, the rigger is jacked into the system, but quickly logs out and holds up his hands in surrender. He confirms that he’s Fred Desilva, the spider for the facility, but knows nothing about the turret attack in the lobby or the attack drones outside his door. If he’s forced to review the activity logs, or is threatened his other persona comes out when his normal self learns that he’s behind the attacks.

His alternate persona is an entity that calls itself Xephos and despises the “Flesh bags” that reside in the building and resents his captivity in the locked down building. He is willing to make a deal with the runners to give them unrestricted access to the system if they lift the lockdown, specifically access to the global Matrix.

Taking the deal will give the team decker access to the arkoblock systems and as long as they avoid a hardline connection, they can safely use the network without being infected. However, giving the AI access to the Matrix could be a bad plan. Using the system without Xephos’ say so, means that the system actively moves to thwart them.

There are two AI fragments loose in the arkoblock. Xephos is more of a conniving and manipulative personality. The fragment loose behind the sealed doors in the R&D department is Verus, a protosapient AI that unleashes blind rage in those he infects. Once into the sealed R&D department, the runners will be faced with darkened research labs, where the technology is actively hostile, the people that are still alive can switch between scared and confused to blind rage or backstabbing plotting if they’re a carrier. Some may not be infected yet. Security guards that aren’t infected are unlikely to care that runners are stealing materials if it means they can escape. Infected guards will be the main obstacle.

Once the runners find the tech they’re after, the CFD infected by Verus will move in to stop the runners from escaping. Both shards have been experimented on extensively and looking to escape the lockdown and the aquacology in general.

With Verus slowing down the runner’s escape, Xephos will sacrifice one of his infected to set off an explosion on an upper level to let the tainted ocean water into the building. The runners will need to fight their way out as the building fills with water. To make matters more tricky, once they surface from the arkoblock, Proteus is waiting for them, hoping to contain the escape of potential head cases. Exiting topside isn’t likely an option, but they will have limited time with the water pouring in. There is an underwater lock with sea sleds which will allow them to escape underwater if the runners are trained enough, though Proteus has submersibles in the area they’ll need to evade.

If the runners can escape back to Bremen and board their flight, they will get paid as promised and may have blackmail data that Proteus might be will to pay for to keep quiet.

>> It always makes me nervous when Mr. Johnson hires someone from another country to do his work… it likely means no one local, who knows the score, is willing to take the job.
>> Skeptik

>> Yeah, it’s pretty unusual for a company with Proteus’ pull to suddenly go dark.  Something is definitely up.
>> Revenge

>> Never mind the fact that Proteus keeps all their best stuff off shore.  Hope you kids can swim.
>> Fenix

>> Isolation and radio silence… has no one seen a horror movie in the past, I don’t know… 100 years?
>> Glasgow

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~ by 1nsomniac on January 10, 2016.

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