Loss of Appetite (Shadowrun)

This adventure was run for Phantasm 2017 as a one-shot.

The runners are contacted by their fixer and told that he has a lead on a job centered on sabotage.  If the runners want to hear the details, they can meet with Mr. Johnson at Takuri’s for 7PM.

Scene 1 – A Late Dinner

Takuri’s is a high end restaurant where the elite Japanese corporate types take clients to be wined and dined.  There is no getting in without a reservation.  Luckily for the runners, there is a reservation for Johnson, but the runners are forced to wait until the precise time of the meet to be brought in beyond the entrance (and if they haven’t dressed the part, they will be asked to wait outside).

The inside of the restaurant is done up in the latest Neo-Tokyo style, with open spaces with a view into the kitchen, faux rice paper walls and the latest decor style in the Shinto spirit as the best restaurants in Neo-Tokyo.  The runners are led through the restaurant (in a hurry if the runners are not socially blended) to a private dining room in the back.  The room is done up in the style of old daimyos; feudal lords of the samurai clans from Japan’s ancient past.  The classic art style on the walls depict victory in battle, the arts of poetry and calligraphy, paying tribute to the kami.  Upon entry, they see several cooks setting trays of food in front of a radiant Japanese woman with long flowing black hair and perfect posture, kneeling on a tatami mat facing the door.  Several guards in full body armor stand in the corners of the room, watching the runners intently.

The woman pulls out a personalized pair of chopsticks and helps herself to some of the sushi on the plates before her.  She elegantly places a piece in her mouth and slowly chews the food before a slight smile crosses her lips and she nods to the cooks.  They deeply bow and leave the room.  Finishing her mouthful, she opens her eyes and surveys the runners before her.  She remains impassive as she studies them before she motions to the mat across for her.

“Please.  Join me,” she says in unaccented English.  Her eyes look to the guards, who bow and leave the room, closing the door behind them.  As the runners sit down, Ms. Johnson studies them closely watching body language and etiquette.  She will disapprove of any runner that immediately dives into the food, rather than waiting for an invitation.  As she takes several pieces of food for herself and pours herself hot water for her green tea.  Once she has arranged her plate, she places her chopsticks down and bows.  “There is more here than I could eat alone.  Please, help yourselves.”

Once again, she observes the runners’ demeanor to determine their character.  Once everyone has filled their plates, she raises her glass and sips her tea.  “Shall we conduct our business?”

Between mouthfuls of exquisite Japanese cuisine, Ms. Johnson provides them with the details.  “My employer would like to recruit a team for the purpose of sabotaging rival merchandise.  There is a substantial amount of merchandise to be sabotaged, but there is to be minimal additional collateral damage done to the site.  We aim to set them back, not create a vendetta.  Does this sound like a task your team can complete?”

Once she has been reassured that they are the team for the job, she continues.  “Very well.  On the edge of Snohomish, along Highway 522, there is a large plantation owned by Nature-Taste, a large agricultural corporation.  This plantation grows several foodstuffs that are used by the city as well as several other local recipients.  What we would like you to disrupt is their substantial mushroom growing operation.  Much of the… more needy populace eats foods made primarily from soy, mushroom or krill.  Nature-Taste provides the lion’s share of the local mushroom crop.  We want to see one crop not make it to market.  Much more than one crop’s loss would see a food shortage in the city and I know you wouldn’t want that on your conscious… therefore, sabotage only the crop, not the equipment.  Also see to it that, the sabotaged crop will not go to market and cause an incident.  Since we are aware that this task has more conditions than your profession tends to prefer, we are willing to offer 10,000¥ apiece for the job.”

Ms. Johnson is Ayaka Ikeda, a local Shiawase recruiter.  With the Megacorporate Audit in full swing, Shiawase is looking to maneuver themselves into a more advantageous position at the expense of one of the seemingly untouchable competitors:  Aztechnology.  The Azzies have controlled much of the food stuffs market for a long while, but the Az-Am War and the battle with Sirrurg weakened them badly.  Shiawase isn’t above kicking them while they’re down to try to seize more of the food market.

Ms. Johnson is willing to negotiate some on the price, but only to a maximum of 12,000¥.  Once the runners have agreed, Ms. Johnson bows and thanks them.  She provides them with a commcode to reach her once the work has been completed and she will excuse herself, inviting them to enjoy the food and then walking out, collecting her bodyguards along the way.

Matrix:  The node of Takuri’s is tailored to look like an ancient Japanese castle on the exterior, but from within it looks like a pristine and empty version of the restaurant.  While the clean veneer of the node focuses on the establishment as a business, providing a means to place reservations, pre-order meals or view the menu and chefs scheduled to appear, a skilled decker can get into the system to review bookings or use the subtly concealed cameras to eavesdrop on the clientele.

Host Rating 4 – Attack 4, Sleaze 5, Data Processing 6, Firewall 8

The system is independently owned, which prohibits the inclusion of the more nasty methods of protection available to corporate hosts.  Patrol IC is running at all times (faceless icon in a black chef’s uniform) and there are no spiders monitoring the system.  IC is activated in the order of:  Probe, Scramble, Track, Jammer, Marker and Crash.  Probe and Scramble are rebooted if crashed.  The goal is to crash the intruder via Scramble, or Tracing them and reporting them to Knight Errant.

Ms. Johnson aka Ayaka Ikeda
Shiawase Black Ops Recruiter
Possible Sources – Corporate Connections (especially Shiawase), Fixers, Shadow Community

1/2 – I’ve seen her face before… Ayaka Ikeda.  Shiawase suit, if I recall correctly.  If I’m not mistaken, she works in PR.

2/4 – Ikeda’s not in PR, she’s in shadow ops.  She’s been in the Seattle game for a while.  No nonsense chica and she tows the company line hard.

4/7 – She’s very observant and looks for all sorts of tells during meetings and deliveries to locate weaknesses in the people she’s interviewing.  She doesn’t tolerate exploitable weakness and if she feels you are a risk, she will either not hire you, or tie off loose ends before things can be traced back to the company

7/11 – Her reputation is clean… depending who you ask.  She has never expressly betrayed a team during the meet or on delivery.  However, there are rumours that several teams that completed the task requested, but did so in a manner she disapproved of, ended up having accidents in the weeks that followed that (of course) could not be traced back to Shiawase.

Scene 2 – Going to the Farm

Nature-Taste is a massive farming enclave just North of the highway, off Elliott Road as Ms. Johnson told them.  The entire property is spread out over 800 acres, straddling the Snohomish River.  15 acres of that have been designated for mushroom farming which are away from the main entrance to the compound.

The West bank is the predominant part of the complex, where the company grows their largest crops, such as soy and wheat, but it also houses the corporate complex (just off the main gate), the water purification center (to filter the extra crap flowing in from Redmond), as well as the mushroom farm.  The East bank are the “specialty” crops, such as vegetables, fruit, as well as out-of-area crops growing within greenhouses.

The site has primarily subtle defenses on the surface.  The outer perimeter is ringed in a 12ft chain link fence, topped in razor wire (5P Damage), where the fence is inlaid with proximity wire.  If the runners simply attempt to scale the fence, they will quickly find themselves tracked by drones.  Airborne drones serves as eyes in the sky with LTA drones far above the grounds and roto drones on near-ground recon.  In a pinch the drones that maintain the fields overnight double as a set of eyes on the ground.  At the peak of each hill is a light tower that shines down over the fields at night or in overcast conditions, but these towers also contain cameras and motion sensor suites.

While there is no on site magical presence, if an alarm is triggered, spirits can be requested, which arrive on the premises quickly.  Security is typically equipped with non-lethal methods of detaining suspects, but are capable of ramping up their defenses if they feel it is warranted.

Areas of open terrain, such as the roads that run through the complex, the bridge over the Snohomish or the interior of the buildings, the guards can request defensive shutters be raised to use as cover.  Guards have access to guard animals as well, relying on the Aztechnology standard of trained Jaguars, which specialize in running down and incapacitating foes.  If a hostile mage is detected, they have a small detachment of hellhounds that can be deployed to aid in detection and intimidation. <stats for these guard animals can be found in the SR5 Core book>

Personnel on the ground are limited, due to the sheer amount of ground to cover, but lookouts are posted on top of the corporate complex with long range weapons, if needed.  In the corporate building, there are more personnel, including several security spiders and deckers.  A fleet of security vehicles are available should the local garrison need to be deployed.

The front gate of the complex is open during the day, though they will need to stop for a credentials check by security.  At night the gate is locked and is only opened for recognized vehicles and a personalized entry code.

Nature-Taste is not currently hiring and has a staggered guard rotation every four hours.  They handle their own HVAC maintenance and use registered Aztechnology providers for their agricultural supplies.

Matrix:  The Nature-Taste host is designed to look like an old school farmer’s market.  Blue skies overhead with a few clouds and a perfect breeze roll through the system as automated systems populate the node, looking like eager buyers.  The scent of honey and fresh produce is carried on the breeze.  Samples of the food are on display and with full simsense immersion, you can taste the freshly prepared vegetables and fruit.  Users can order food deliveries and bulk orders from the automated merchants.

Beyond the facade of the marketplace, the artificial shoppers hide the backdoor into the main system, where they can gain access to either Operations or Personnel.  Operations govern security and the maintenance of the crops, where personnel is more human resources info, payroll and employee dossiers.  The Operations system resembles the interior of the corporate complex, while the Personnel node looks like a cozy HR executive’s office.

Operations:  Host Rating 9

Attack: 10, Sleaze: 9, Data Processing: 12, Firewall: 11
Patrol IC is always running.  Other IC activates in the following order:  Killer, Marker, Scramble, Acid, Jammer, Blaster, Binder, Crash, Sparky, Black.  If one is bricked, it carries on before rebooting.  If the alarm persists for 4 rounds, two deckers will arrive.

Personnel:  Host Rating 6

Attack: 6, Sleaze: 7, Data Processing: 8, Firewall: 9
Patrol IC and one decker is always running.  Other IC activates in the following order:  Killer, Probe, Bloodhound, Marker, Blaster, Binder, Black.  If one is bricked, it will reboot the bricked IC before progressing.  If the alarm persists for 4 rounds, one more decker will arrive.

Scene 3 – Putting the Fun in Fungi

The mushroom farm is nestled not far from the banks of the Snohomish and the water treatment plant.  Each building is the size of an airport hangar, with 12 buildings in all, in addition to the oversight building.  With mushrooms having an average growth cycle of 60 days, the dozen building are divided into three groups:  Just planted, mid-growth and harvest.  The runners can use their discretion as to which of these batches they wish to sabotage (though the batch ready for the harvest may be the hardest, as they are already being collected and may require physical destruction).

Each growth center is two-thirds farm space and the rest for the complex needs.  The farm itself can be partitioned off in the case of contaminants being introduced to one portion of the crop.  The personnel in the farms are botanists and caretakers, not security.  They will alert security at the first signs of intruders or risk to their crop.

The oversight building monitors the environmental settings for each of the dozen buildings (but cannot issue blanket commands), as well as ensuring the water being sent to each building has sufficient purity.  Security and farming foremen frequent the building, but in low numbers.

The environmental controls within each of the farms can increase the temperatures to oven-like temperatures in the case of sterilization being required between crops or rival plant spores being detected.  This can double as a security measure, as the partition can be lowered and the temperature raised for hostile intruders.  Using this heat sterilization automatically triggers an alarm.  The sprinkler systems can be used to release more than just water into the main farm system (however, this is done only under dire circumstances, as it ruins the crop).  This countermeasure also triggers an alarm.

As a safeguard against toxins being introduced into the water at the oversight building, in each bank of mushrooms, there are a couple of genetically engineered mushrooms included that where the other mushrooms compete for the water, this species is a toxin sponge.  The mushroom is a horrible looking thing and the larger it grows, the more intoxicants it pulls from the water.  Slight poisonings will not work.

With the safeguards in place, the runners will need to find ways to destroy four hangars worth of mushrooms without getting detected.  The Matrix system is the same as in Scene 2.  If an alarm is triggered, the runners will have a fight to escape the complex.

>> So… we’re getting paid to ruin some exec’s salad?  Seems like some pretty petty revenge.
>> Havik

>> You have to look deeper than what’s being sabotaged here.  This is all about controlling market share without causing an incident.  Sabotage too little and Nature Taste’s market share won’t be impacted enough.  Destroy too much and Shiawase won’t be able to fill the void, leading to a public incident that will draw media attention.  This is a precision op, not scorched earth.  Combine that with Shiwase’s zero tolerance for mistakes and you’ve got a fine line to walk.
>> Wraith

>> Well, my enthusiasm for this job just went down some…
>> Havik

>> Remain mindful that this impacts the lower class in all Seattle.  Food shortages can be very dangerous and if Shiawase’s product is inferior, you could have the welfare of thousands on your conscious…
>> Tunnel Rat

~ by 1nsomniac on November 13, 2017.

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