Forceful Ballot (Shadowrun)

This is the new material that I ran at Phantasm this past weekend.  I know I haven’t been posting much new material of late, but I hope to get into some kind of regular rhythm once my life gets under control.

The runners are contacted by their fixer in regards to a high profile run that, while risky has the potential to make strides for change in the city. If they’re willing to hear out Mr. Johnson, he will meet them in the Ork Underground at the Big Rhino for 9PM.

Scene 1 – A Dangerous Proposal

The Big Rhino is the best known ork hotspot in the entire city. As one of the main entrances to the Ork Underground, it has become somewhat of a tourist trap. The slummy feel of the place has been preserved as they actively refuse to fix up the place. The air is rich with spices and the smell of cooking meat. The runners won’t draw too much attention until they try to go past the public face of the Rhino, especially if they are not ork or troll.

Once they get into the back room, the smells of the restaurant fade away and gives way to the dank smell of wet concrete. They are led into a maintenance room just off the main tunnel, where two ork gangers stand vigil.

Inside, the room has been converted into a reinforced conference room, which has seen its share of wear and tear. A heavy wooden table has been set in the center of the room, though no chairs are present. A burly, augmented ork chomps on a smoldering cigar as the runners walk in.

C’mon in. I’d offer you a chair, but we’re fresh out” he says with a chuckle. “I’ll be frank with you all… I’m not looking for subtlety, only results. But there is a good likelihood that your handiwork will be publicly known. I know runners like to be invisible, but I want to send a very distinct message. Anyone want out at this stage?”

Assuming no runners opt out, he continues. “All right then. Our current Governor of Seattle, one Kenneth Brackhaven, is well known for his ties to Humanis, thinly veiled racist policies and no shortage of political scandal. His most recent bill is another step down that exact same road. He and his cronies in the positions of power wish to pass a bill in response to the movement to have the Ork Underground recognized as an official district of the metroplex, where all residents of the new district would be registered and tracked by the police. It definitely takes away the freedom we’ve come to appreciate during our time down here. While going after Brackhaven himself would be a tall order, instead we want you to go after his associate Finlay Clarke. Clarke is his liaison with Brackhaven Investments, Humanis member and general asshole. With a break in his administrative chain, it should disrupt the bill, his connections to Humanis and his family’s business. If it isn’t enough of a message, then perhaps there will have to be other actions down the road. For the extermination of Clarke, we’re willing to pay you 8000¥ apiece.”

Mr. Johnson is Hansen de Lange or “Knuckles” to those unwilling to remember his given name. He is a prominent member of the Sons of Sauron and outspoken opposer to the Brackhaven administration. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, this time he had to be certain that the Sons were nowhere close to ground zero. The bankroll for this job has come from several sources, including the Seattle Government itself.

Once the runners are on board, he doesn’t give them guidelines on how to do their job, only a commcode to contact him on once the deed is done.

Matrix: The Ork Underground’s Matrix connection is dodgy at best. With the legitimacy of the Underground being in the spotlight, those that administer the area have erected a makeshift infrastructure, but it is far from standard. Mercifully, the team shouldn’t have to delve too deep and only suffer a Noise rating of 2 while underground.

Scene 2 – In Pursuit

After the meeting with Mr. Johnson, the runners will likely follow the typical avenues of investigation to track down Clarke. His workplace is in City Hall and anything overt there will draw law enforcement very quickly, where his home is in a AAA neighborhood, so both methods will require stealth and a quiet approach to avoid heavy response from Knight Errant.

His office provides information on some of Finlay’s misdeeds, including allocating money to anti-metahuman projects and bribing city officials to side with Brackhaven, but offers no insight into where he is.

His home is empty, regardless of the time of day the runners show up. His house is set up with a state-of-the-art security system that features live monitoring, so the runners will need to get in and out quickly if they want to avoid detection. His personal effects are still in his house, including his personal commlink. The runners find a few incriminating items in his possession, such as recreational drugs and encrypted files that shows he enjoys the services of elven prostitutes, but on his commlink the runners can also find out that he received an email warning him of their impending arrival:

Hey Finn. A couple of the guys are going to swing by to pick you up. Word has it that the tuskers in the SoS have put out a hit on you. While those shit-for-brains demon-spawn probably can’t figure out your security system, we don’t want to risk anything. Grab your bug-out bag and we’ll scoop you in a few minutes. Bring nothing traceable.”

Based on the jargon the sender uses, a trace on the phone call, or going through Finlay’s personal memberships, all of them point to the Downtown Branch of the Humanis Policlub. Hopefully, the runners will see the intentional giant glowing arrow and approach the policlub with caution.

Scene 3 – Supremely Misguided

The Humanis Policlub is housed in a modern, almost church-like building that is clean and sleek. It blends in with the Seattle skyline of corporate efficiency, rather than a building one would associate with spreading hate. The professional facade of the building does little to mask the rot at the charitable organization’s core, however. If the runners enter the building during the day, any humans will be cheerfully greeted and handed propaganda, all while talking about the charity work the policlub does in the city. Metahumans are greeted and through not-so-subtle suggestion, are told that perhaps they’ve come to the wrong place. If they still do not leave they are escorted out by on-site security. If they resist, Knight Errant is called. The runners may use these as distractions to get access to the location and try to locate Finlay.

At night, the building runs under minimal lighting, but is still a hub of activity. The front doors and the outward facing windows are dark and locked, but employee entrances in the back are accessible by passkey… or intrepid hacker.

Once the door is opened, the system recognizes an intruder (unless a decker has intervened) and the runners will have only a handful of minutes before police arrive. Inside, the Policlub enforcers will try to slow them down, focusing on metahumans first, naturally. Once the welcoming committee has been dealt with, the runners will be able to hear voices coming the levels below. The Humanis squad inside will show little restraint, drawing sidearms and firing at the runners. The leader of the goon squad hunkers down behind an overturned table snapping of shots while trying to conceal the person he’s with.

In reality, he isn’t trying to keep anyone safe. The man he’s with is a bound ork man, who they were planning on “making an example of”. With the runners bursting in looking for Finlay, they set the ork up as Finlay’s proxy, hoping the runners will take the rap for the murder by shooting the innocent man, mistaking him for their target. He films the shootout on his commlink, trying to capture as much as possible before broadcasting it out onto the Matrix.

After the shootout, the man that used the ork as a decoy is the one who warned Finlay about the hit squad. He’s rather smug about the whole situation, especially if his video went out or the runners killed the ork (if desperate, he will use the ork as a hostage to try and bargain for his escape). Under duress and pain, he tells them that the ork they had is/was an accountant for the Sons of Sauron and saw the fund allocation for the hit. As for Finlay Clarke’s current location, he tells them that upon the realization that they might hire actual professionals to kill the man, Brackhaven Investments sent over some of their security detail to collect Clarke almost immediately after his extraction and moved him to a more secure location. The Humanis leader has no idea what that location would be.

Matrix: The Humanis host is rendered to be as clean as the building exterior. The public face of Humanis is a polished veneer of political correctness and carefully crafted images that while all icons are human, they run the gamut of body types so they could be elves or orks, aside from lacking the troublesome features that would mark them for hate.

Host Rating 5 – Attack 6, Sleaze 5, Data Processing 7, Firewall 8

The system aims to delay any would-be hackers until police can arrive. Most measures are relatively passive, but when sensitive areas are probed, the system fights back before ultimately taking itself offline before anything incriminating can be obtained.

Scene 4 – Business as Usual

Depending on how the runners have handled the job to this point, they might be back to nearly square one, or they might additionally have the police actively hunting them down after their break-ins on two locations close to Finlay Clarke. If the runners have been noisy and/or sloppy, the police might be in the area surrounding Brackhaven Investments, compounding the difficulty in gaining access.

Brackhaven Investments, unsurprisingly, is one of the largest real estate resellers in the Metroplex thanks to the favoritism from the Governor. Luckily for the team, their listings of properties is a matter of public record. The runners simply have to deduce what kind of building would be ideal for protecting someone from assassination. Ultimately, the runners can track it down to a section of three floors of an office tower in the middle of the building. The section is supposed to be empty, but the runners can find it furnished and manned by armed men who suspiciously do not wear BI logos. Finlay is in the break room, grabbing a bite to eat and chatting with his protectors, but the moment any alarm is tripped he sprints for the server room, which can be sealed and has been warded as a panic room.

The runners will need to deal with the protection detail and breach the server room to finally reach their quarry. The last hurdle is what is in the server room with him. The chief of the guard detail will do his best to protect Finlay, but Clarke has also been given a suit of enclosed armor and been injected with a dose of kamikaze. The man, not used to combat or stimulants, throws himself at the runners in a blind rage. Once the captain and Clarke are defeated, the runners can take footage of Clarke’s end to Mr. Johnson for payment.

Matrix: The Brackhaven Investments host is rendered in blues and whites, advertising the perks of the office space. The public face of the host is strictly for real estate purposes, but behind the crafted lobby is the hostile engine for those who aim to sabotage BI property. The system has been retooled for defending the people in the safehouse, relying on motion sensors rather than cameras to track movement in the office.

Host Rating 7 – Attack 9, Sleaze 7, Data Processing 8, Firewall 10

>> Taking down one of those racist pigs?  Sign me up.
>> Burn

>> You think it’s going to be easy?  Brackhaven knows that the public isn’t fooled any more… he’s taking extra precautions to protect those he can trust or easily control these days.
>> Wraith

>> Of course it won’t be easy.  I never made claims that it would be.  I’d be doing the city a favor and get paid for doing it.  Who woulda thought that I’d be one of the good guys, huh?
>> Burn

>>I know I didn’t.
>> Wraith

>> C’mon Wraith… you know you want a piece of this job.
>> Burn

>> Kinda yeah…
>> Wraith

>> You know how to reach me.
>> Burn

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~ by 1nsomniac on March 28, 2017.

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