Between the Darkness and the Light (#Shadowrun)

This was going to be the third run of the Fallen Angel campaign before it was cancelled.  Instead I ran this one as a standalone run over two sessions.

The runners are contacted by Judge regarding a new job and asked to meet up with him at the Penumbra at his usual table for 7PM.

Scene 1 – Babysitting 101

The runners show up at the Penumbra not long after they open the doors for the night and the crowd size is still not at its maximum for the night when the runners are set to meet up with Judge.  After their sloppy work at Shiawase, he has been trying to find them new work, where their standing rep would be of less consequence.

When the team convenes, Judge looks them over, nods and says, “All right, it looks like we’re all here.  I’ve got a line on some work… it’s not glamorous, but it pays the bills. After the passing of Prop 23 and the Ork Underground becoming a recognized district of the city, whether Brackhaven likes it or not, he has to look after his people.  The old tunnels and buried shops that make up the Underground aren’t exactly the healthiest place in the city. So, as a token of faith, several old air purification units are getting brought up to code to help combat the risk of airborne infection in more remote areas of the Underground.  However, the residents don’t trust anyone to help them, so several groups are blocking the update, even though it’s to their benefit.

“Therefore, you’re being offered a job to protect the city employee doing the work from any threats that arise.  Hopefully, you spend the evening babysitting this person and nothing happens, but they don’t want to risk it. You’re being offered 5,000¥ apiece for an evening’s work.  Interested?”

Despite the job being easy on paper, there is a lot that can go wrong on this job.  Judge hasn’t done a deep dive on the person the runners are escorting and it’s a mistake that could come back to bite them in the end.

Judge can negotiate a little, though their history of not planning ahead will hold them back some.  Once they’ve agreed to take the job, Judge tells them that they are to escort a Rachel Foster to various areas around the downtown area.  She will meet them at the Big Rhino for 10PM tonight and she will tell them where they need to go in order to complete her task. Upon the third and final installation, she’ll call her superiors that the work is done and then Judge will receive the payment from the client.

Rachel Foster

Rachel is a human woman at 5’8” and carrying a few extra pounds on her frame.  Her hair is cut short, just above the shoulder and is dull brown in colour with grey roots starting to show.  When the runners encounter her, she’s wearing a public utility emblazoned set of coveralls and has two containers with her; her toolkit and the satchel carrying the replacement filters.  She is unarmed and is genuinely intimidated by the runners escorting her. She will gravitate toward any human runners over metahumans.

City Employee / Public Works
Possible Sources – City Contacts

1/2 – Rachel is a virtual nobody in the grand scheme of things.  A woman in her early forties, married with two children. She has worked for the city for six years.

2/4 – Her husband, William, works in city hall as a computer technician.  Their kids are in public school, ages 13 and 11. Both boys, Eric and Jonathan, are average students.

5/8 – Despite both adults working full time, the Fosters are struggling to pay the bills due to the rapidly rising cost of living in Seattle.  The fact that Rachel is putting in an extra shift at 10PM shows that she needs the money

9/12 – Analyzing her charitable donations and voting records, shows that Rachel and her family are Brackhaven supporters and donors to Humanis.

Scene 2 – Meeting at the Rhino

The Big Rhino is a boisterous place.  Recognized as one of the main entrances to the Ork Underground, it sees a lot of foot traffic from visitors and residents alike.  The Rhino specializes in foods catering to the ork and troll palette; large portions and heavily spiced. Brave runners can try to tackle one of the meals here, but ultimately they are here to meet up with Rachel Foster.

They find the human woman at a table on the outside of the restaurant interior.  She is cowering against the wall, looking annoyed at the loud, jovial laughter of a table of trolls nearby.  She visibly starts when the runners greet her loudly to get her attention over the noise. She speaks nervously, almost avoiding eye contact entirely.

“You’re here to escort me, right?  I really don’t know that this is necessary, but thank you.  Here’s a chip with the places I need to get to. I recommend we travel above ground and go down when needed.  I hear they don’t take kindly to my kind down there…”

The chip has three locations on it.  There is one not far from the Rhino, one to the North, toward Snohomish and another eastward toward Bellevue.

Rachel is eager to get to work and finish her extra shift as quickly as possible (as well as get away from all the orks and trolls here), but she’ll answer any preliminary questions the runners have.  There shouldn’t be any reason for combat here, unless the runners have a history with the citizens of the Underground.

Scene 3 – The Suspicious

The location closest to the Big Rhino is accessible through a service entrance off an office tower.  Rachel’s city clearance gives her access to the service accessway, but not the office tower as a whole.  The service corridors run along the outside of the building’s infrastructure. An old water-stained concrete stairwell leads down under the building into recently-repurposed tunnels that branch out away from the building.  After following old signage for a distance, the runners come out into a clearing filled with pipes, conduits and wires, serving as a hub for power and water to run through the city and into the Underground. Standing between the runners and the filtration system are a large group of ork gangers, wearing the colours of the Skraacha.  The local “neighbourhood watch” of the Ork Underground spread out and show off their assorted weapons, ranging from clubs to shotguns and bar the runner’s path.

“Ain’t nobody comin’ through here.  Rumour has it that someone’s been poisoning the orks under the city and we can’t afford for that to go on.  So, you can just turn around and take your business elsewhere. You’re not welcome here.”

In order to get paid, the runners will need to get that filter installed.  The runners might wonder if there is any validity to the Skraacha statements about someone poisoning the Underground and naturally Rachel denies everything.  A chemsniffer of Rachel’s gear reveals nothing.

The poison isn’t on the filter itself, but rather contained in the sealant used to secure the filter to the filtration system.  In the aerosolized container, the strain of VITAS being used is fully sealed against detection.

If the runners fight the orks, they will need to scare them off enough to allow Rachel access to the filtration panels.  The process involves opening up the housing, pulling the old filter out, popping in the new filter and then applying a sealant to the upper and lower junctions.  The strain of VITAS being used is stored toward the top of the can, so Rachel makes a point of sealing the lower junction first (past the filter). Any runner can attempt an Industrial Mechanic+Logic (3) to realize that the filters being replaced, while dirty are nowhere near ready for replacement.  If asked about it, Rachel rolls her eyes and says that after all of the public hoopla over the situation, the replacements are occurring on an accelerated cycle, despite the cost, to save face. The story is legitimate, so Assensing will not reveal any ill intent with the cover story.

Ork Ganger

B7(8)  A4 R3 S6  W3 L2 I3 C3  Edge 2 Init = 6+1D6

PL8  ML4 SL5

Armor 9

Qualities – Toughness

Skills – Blades 4, Clubs 4, Etiquette (Street) 3(5), Intimidation 4, Pistols 4, Unarmed 3

Gear:  Armoured Vest (9), Meta Link, Browning Ultra-Power (Acc 5(6), 8P, AP -1, 2RC, 10c), Knife (Reach 0, Acc 5, AP -1, 7P)

Matrix:  The Seattle Grid is harder to access under the streets of the city.  Due to the old infrastructure and abandoned nature of the area there is a Noise penalty of 4 for any Matrix actions in this part of the undercity.

Scene 4 – The Desperate

The northern location sees an old retail store left to decay in the presence of the surrounding corporate subsidiaries.  With a chain and padlock barring the door, Rachel has a key to unlock the padlock and allow them access into the derelict structure.  The building is in a state of advanced decay and collapse as they descend to the basement. A ladder has been placed in a section of collapsed floor, leading down into a series of abandoned tunnels under the building.

The urban decay doesn’t fade away once in the undercity.  The tunnels are in an advanced state of collapse and the runners will be forced to scurry through narrow spaces in order to reach the end point.

In a similar clearing to the one near the Rhino, the filtration system is sitting exposed to the air, with several pieces of the assembly missing.  Rachel is immediately panicked by the sabotaged filter and asks the runners to try and locate the pieces of the assembly.

As they explore the area, they find an area that has been better maintained and decorated by more “ornate” debris from around the tunnels.  In an old maintenance room, they find an old ork with cataracts in his eyes muttering to himself. Inside the room, ornate designs have been laid out on the walls, the floor and the meager furnishings.  The patterns are elaborate, especially for a man who’s mostly blind. The pieces of the filtration assembly have been included in the designs that adorn the room.

The old man is happy to have visitors, but suffers from dementia.  Sometimes, he refers to people by seemingly random names. He appears to talk to himself often and anyone who can see the astral plane can see a free spirit hovering over the old man’s shoulder, whispering in his ears.

The spirit is a relatively low force free air elemental, who feels protective of the sickly old ork.  The spirit has directed the man to decorating the space in a way that is pleasing for the both of them.  The spirit is willing to let the runners take the pieces they need, so long as they remain respectful and don’t threaten the old man.

Crazy Old Ork

B6  A4 R3  S5 W3 L2  I3 C3 Edge 2  Init = 6+1D6

PL7  ML4 SL5

Armor 9

Skills – Blades 4, Clubs 4, Etiquette (Street) 3(5), Intimidation 4, Pistols 4, Unarmed 3

Gear:  Armoured Vest (9), Browning Ultra-Power (Acc 5(6), 8P, AP -1, 2RC, 10c), Knife (Reach 0, Acc 5, AP -1, 7P)

Free Spirit of Man (Force 6)

Has all Powers plus the following:

Banishing Resistance, Personal Domain, Psychokinesis, Influence, Shielding (as per Grade 3), Fear

Once they have retrieved the pieces, Rachel can start reassembling the unit and installing the new filter.

Matrix:  Similar to Scene 3, the Noise for this buried portion of the city is 4.

Scene 5 – The Hungry

The Eastern location lies beneath the sewers.  The sewers are a disgusting mess of water-logged refuse and God knows what else and Rachel seems to step gingerly around all perceived messes toward a service tunnel that connects two major series of tunnels.  A rusted out ladder descending below the main level takes them down into a darkened series of corridors. Without flashlights, visibility is almost non-existent, even for those with low-light vision.

Exploring deeper into the darkened tunnels, the bodies of desiccated animals dot the area until they arrive in a large, disused holding tank.  The filtration assembly is set into one of the walls. However, the room is the den for several feral ghouls and a wendigo. They will attack en masse against the runners in a flash of flashlights and teeth.

Ghouls are Orks, so add 2 to Body and Strength

Wendigo Adept Powers:  Improved Reflexes 1 (1.5), Strength Boost 4 (1.0), Mystic Armor 4 (2.0), Cloak 2 (0.5), Pain Resistance 2 (1.0)

Wendigo Spells:  Improved Invisibility, Vampiric Stealth, Manabolt, Detect Ork, Mob Mood, Spirit Zapper

Assuming Rachel survives the attack, she will complete the repairs and the job will be complete.  Otherwise, one of the runners will need to make an Industrial Mechanic+Logic(3) test to install the hardware themselves.  Using Rachel’s commlink in some way, they can contact city hall and let them know the job is done.

Matrix:  Similar to Scene 3, the Noise for this buried portion of the city is 4.

Scene 6A – The Aftermath (Assuming the runners finish the job)

Once the filters are put in place and Rachel calls her boss, the runners get a call from Mr. Johnson.  He asks them to head for a local bus station in order to receive their payment and to bring Rachel with them.  The bus station is a busy hub of activity even at the wee hours of the morning and there are extensive cameras in the area.

As they arrive, Mr. Johnson will call them again and tell them to go to locker 34 and enter the combination 4912.  Inside the locker they find a backpack with credsticks amounting to the agreed upon sum. Mr. Johnson confirms that the amount is correct before requesting that the runners release Rachel and wait until she’s away before they take their leave.

Once Rachel has gotten into a prepaid cab, Mr. Johnson thanks them for their efforts and hangs up.

With the job complete, assuming the runners haven’t done anything to change the circumstances, the runners have not only given Mr. Johnson camera footage of what looks like a ransom drop, but when the VITAS outbreak kills several orks in the Underground, it gets traced back to the filters they helped Rachel plant.  Rumours direct the blame from Brackhaven over to Humanis members, but the shadow rumour mill points back to the team and Judge. The runners gain a point of Notoriety and Judge’s reputation takes a hit.

Scene 6B – The Confrontation (Assuming the runners learn of the plot and aim to stop it)

At some point along the way, the runners catch wind of the plan to infect the residents of the Underground and move to put a stop to it.

If confronted about it, Rachel feigns ignorance at first.  She folds right away under pressure and tells them that she wasn’t told the nature of the attack; only that she would be helping to “reassert human dominance in Seattle”.  If pressured to give a name, she gives them the name David Mussina.

Mussina’s ties to Humanis are well documented, though the policlub has done their best to publicly distance themselves from him, due to his “extreme views and methods”.  Unofficially, they support him as his methods get results that supports their agenda. If the runners follow up and storm Humanis, they find out from anyone they interrogate that Mussina has gone to ground.  When word of the attack’s failure reaches him, he destroys his commlink and disappears into the city.

If the runners care to pursue him, he can resurface later for them to track down and bring to justice.

David Mussina

David is a human man at 5’11” and an athletic build. A man in his prime (mid-thirties), he is an entitled man from a privileged upbringing.  He’s a financial planner by training and the money he has earned goes toward furthering his racist agenda. The polo shirts and slacks are the uniform for his form of hatred, being a bully in almost every aspect of his life.  He shows outright contempt and revulsion toward orks and trolls, while elves and dwarves elicit subtle barbs. While he does typically carry a sidearm, he’s only barely trained at the range and is not much threat.

Financial Planner / Humanis Extremist
Possible Sources – Bankers, Brokers, Hate Groups, Humanis

1/2 – David is an independent financial planner and bachelor.  He is very good at his job, but his clientele is evidently all human.

2/4 – An active member of Humanis, he donates generously to the idea of human supremacy, as he was forced out of his last corporate job by elves.  Striking out independently has worked very well for him in the end, but he only sees the arrogance.

5/8 – Living in the heart of Renton, he recruits from the white collar portion of the population, though he finds that Humanis’ views are harder to digest in the corporate sector.  Not gaining much traction, he has turned from passive protest to extreme action

9/12 – Keeping track of his clients’ portfolios, he knows about vacant homes and properties in the area, where he typically disappears to when the heat is on.

>> I hate escorting some civvy through the bowels of the city… they’re always ill-prepared and an unwanted liability.
>> Havik

>> Anyone feel there’s something off about this job?
>> Conspir-I-See

>> Want to know what feels off?  Trace the funding for your employer on this one and you’ll find where the stink comes from…
>> Uruk Hai

~ by 1nsomniac on February 11, 2019.

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