Session 13 — A Night at the Cerebus …

Cast of Characters:

  • Bowjack
  • Eternal
  • Walker
  • And introducing, Sledge
  • With Special Guest, Duchess

Eddie Glenn, the owner of a club I like to hit up now and then, reached out to me saying that the club and neighborhood have been having some issues lately. As we got to talking about how I could help him, we got to talking about my girl Duchess. She’s young yes, but has a lot of potential on the magic front to take a few steps into the shadows. We both agreed it might be good to have someone with a personal interest and familiarity on the job, so this seemed like a good setup to get her back out to San Francisco.

Luckily she was free to take a short notice trip out from Baltimore and come visit. Eddie and I worked out a plan where Duchess would serve as the Johnson, but require that she is brought along on the job. Runners, particularly this new team, might not take to a 15 year old girl running the show, but they’ll certainly listen if there’s a paycheck involved. We set her up with a total budget, and gave her the responsibility to decide how much to offer. Whatever is left over is hers to keep.

On that front, Duchess didn’t disappoint. The team settled on 8,000 nuyen each with her, leaving Duchess with a nice chunk for herself. She’s got good instincts for this business. After that, Duchess briefed the team that the job is mainly to provide surveillance and security for the club during a show with what I’m told was a pretty novahot DJ. Would have liked to go myself, but wouldn’t be good to hang around influencing a job.

From what Aspen told me, it was almost like this was a totally different team tonight. The team set up a pretty effective surveillance net and stayed, well, more professional than I’ve been lead to expect with the Havoc squad. I’m told by the owner that one, could only be Bowjack, hassled a customer over some novacoke. The new member of the team, Sledge, got in on this until management informed Duchess. I wish I could have seen the sight of her dragging Bowjack by his elbow, and Sledge, an ork, by his ear. In fact, maybe Eddie has some security footage still.

She got the team refocused just in time for them to start noticing some unusual activity. Eternal was set up outside (for the best, I don’t think he’d do well in the club scene) and noticed a drone doing orbits around the club. It was trying to stay low and stealthy but he managed to catch a bit of its silhouette before losing it again. However, that was enough to get him focused on the right thing and he managed to pick up the drone again. With a quick warning to the team, he opened fire, initially missing the drone which then turned to get in range to return fire – a big mistake – as Eternal’s second shot landed solid.

Meanwhile, the team inside had started to focus in on some folks who didn’t seem as into the club scene itself. The team focused the most on an Ork (apparently even the Ork is racist against Orks!) but still managed to notice that the moment the drone went down, one of the men seemed to receive a message, have a quick conversation, and make his way out of the club. Sledge revealed himself trying to follow him (speaking of people who didn’t fit into the club scene) but with only one exit, it was easy for the team to pick the guy up again as he left.

Walker tried to get him into conversation but the man stayed focus on trying to get off the scene and continued to leave until Walker astrally slapped him down, and instantly unconscious. From what I heard he was almost outright killed. As Duchess comes out to see what’s going on, Eternal and Walker realize another drone is beelining in for Walker and the downed guy. Duchess may need to work on some of her instincts as she was focused on the unconscious man instead of potential threats. Walker seems to have a good heart though tried to get her out of the way, and stubborn as she was, he risked taking the incoming bullets himself. After a failed shot at Walker and Duchess, Eternal gets his second drone kill of the night.

The team starts to work on getting the guy into taco tank when Eternal spots a bulldog rounding the corner, and then backing out and leaving. A last second shot and he takes a rear wheel out and, I wish I was kidding, decided to chase the vehicle down on foot. Thanks to an assist from Duchess, he makes a … spirited… go at it, and catches up to the van, making it clear that they get one warning before a grenade comes out.

Amazingly, the team manages to subdue this, frankly insultingly b-rate runner team without any further casualties. Duchess with some support from Walker and some intimidation from Sledge and Eternal manage to learn that the team was hired to abduct people in the area and deliver them to a warehouse nearby. The other runner team of course couldn’t be bothered to do any real investigation on their Johnson so didn’t have much more information.

Although Tatters is prepping for the other job he was requested for, the team should be able to drop off the runner’s commlinks for him to search for any additional intel before they go back tomorrow to check out the warehouse in question. This first part proved to be an easy introduction for Duchess, but I hope what they find is just as much of a milkrun.

~Calypso

Session 12 – A Glutton for Punishment

Cast of Characters:

  • Bowjack
  • Walker
  • Tatters
  • Ajax
  • Eternal

Gluttony “.. the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste.

After the initial recon was done during lunch at the Dragon Panda, Tatters does some recon on his own through the Matrix. He is able to find the arrest record for Ajax and alter it enough that it shows he was arrested for unlicensed cyberwear. Bowjack also met with the attorney, Lo Wang, shortly after that. They worked out a deal where Lo Wang would expedite Ajax’s release. They agreed on a price and the lawyer was able to get Ajax released the next morning after paying a fine of 5,000 nuyen. After some discussion amongst the team, Eternal fronted the 5k for the fine. More on that later though.

After the meeting with the lawyer, the team gathers together to continue working the job at hand. Bowjack sent in a flyspy drone while Tatters went on Matrix overwatch. Eternal scouted out the loading dock area and Walker kept watch over the vulnerable bodies of Tatters and Bowjack. The tiny drone worked its way into the basement level where most of the kitchen prep and work is done. Tatters was able to hack his way into the restaurant’s host and get information on the blueprints and various other files. As they discussed option on how they would proceed with completing the mission, Bowjack was able to catch a moment that could be an opening. They noticed their mark make his way up to the vats where he would personally test the soup for flavor. They have decided that this was their opportunity.

So lets go back to the release of Ajax. Eternal gave the credstick with the fine on it to Bowjack. Bowjack was the only one that went to pick him up from the precinct. Once there, he pays the fine and Ajax is released with the gear that he had on him. His Jeep, however as with all such cases, was surrendered to the SFPD. When Bowjack and Ajax exited the precinct, there was a surprise waiting for them. An Ares HTR team in two Banshee T-Birds descended on the pair. In a moments thought, a tactical squad was on them with weapons drawn. One T-Bird was hovering with its mounted weapons trained on the pair and the second T-Bird was circling above. Among the Ares officers, a UCAS military official waded through them. In his hand was a scanner. He requested Bowjack to place his hand on the scanner. Reluctantly he did so. The scanner’s trid display showed a “no match” and he moved over to Ajax. When he placed his hand on the scanner, it came back as a match.

Before he could even complete his sentence to “bag and tag him“, Ajax quickly leapt into action and slammed his hatchet in the head of the military official. Luckily, the helmet on his full body armor took the brunt of the blow. Ajax, however, did not fair so well. The HTR response was swift and efficient. All of their weapons unloaded into Ajax, tearing him to shreds. Bowjack narrowly rolled out of harms way, but other innocent bystanders were also killed in the strike. After the bloodshed, Bowjack was free to leave since he did not take part in the attack and they were not looking for him. Still covered in blood and gore, he ate his McHues order and went home to get cleaned up.

Later that day, the team prepares themselves for the their strike. They need only to seize the opportunity, should it arise. Walker was to place an invisibility spell on Eternal while Bowjack watches the basement through the flyspy. Tatters would be on Matrix overwatch and would be ready to spring his trap. When their mark would go up to the vats to taste test, Tatters would cause his cyberwear to cease functioning. This would be the moment that Eternal would knock him into the vat. Well that was the plan anyways.

For the most part, the plan went flawlessly. However, at the moment when Eternal went to knock him into the vat, he found that he was a bit more sturdy than he thought. He slammed into the massive wall of flesh with a disheartening THUD! Quick on his feet, Eternal hits him again with a solid hit that was enough to knock him unconscious and into the vat of soup. As he fell into the boiling hot soup, his body got stuck in the vat opening. His upper half was drowning in the soup while his bottom half was left flailing. After a few moments, the flailing stopped and the deed was done. Just as Eternal starts to make his way off the catwalk and out, one of the cooks notice his body and screams. When EMS and LoneStar security shows up, the team was already on their way out.

The job was completed to the Johnson’s satisfaction and the team was paid after the coroner’s report was released. His death was ruled an accident. The report went on to state that there was a malfunction in his cyberwear that caused him to fall into the vat and subsequently drowning.

~Calypso

Session 11 – Arrested Development

Cast of Characters:

  • Bowjack
  • Walker
  • Tatters
  • Viking
  • Ajax
  • Eternal

After Aspen told me about his “Havoc Squad,” I did a little digging on them and they could be just what the bay area needs. After they get settled in, I set them up with a job. The meet was set for 3:30am at Cheng’s Restaurant in Oakland. The owner there is having some issues with another restauranteur. She says that he has been intimidating her because she refuses to sell to him. The word on the street is that he was going to take drastic action. She reached out to me for some help. I figured this would be a great way for the new team to get their feet wet.

They team meets up at the restaurant and go to the meeting. The Johnson was alone and eating her noodles when they arrived. After discussing the job, the team learned that she is requesting that this person be killed, but in a particular way. They are to kill him in a vat of his own soup and it must look like an accident. After some negotiation, they are paid a partial amount up front and the rest will be paid after the coroner’s report is released. They come to an agreement and discuss the details.

Their mark is a Chinese man named Xiu Yang. He owns a chain of Chinese buffet-style restaurants in San Francisco. The team is provided a photograph of him. They also find that he does have ties to the Triad. Tatters does starts some matrix searches on him and finds that the is a heavy handed style boss that has his thumb on everything regarding his business. They leave the meet and head home. Tatters does find out that the original restaurant, Dragon Panda, is where he mainly is. but does make appearances at the other locations.

As the rest of the team is headed home, Ajax decides to head into downtown San Francisco and do a quick drive by on the restaurant. Once down there, SFPD picks up on a Jeep suspiciously driving around Chinatown at 4:00am. They proceed to pull the vehicle over and perform their normal checks. A SIN check reveals that the driver is broadcasting a fake SIN. While questioning Ajax, they pick up on his nervousness and detain him for further questioning. Another pair of officers check the Jeep while a portable scanner is used to reveal Ajax’s true identity. The scanner picks up on his cyberwear and a handprint scan returns some interesting information. When he was first pulled over, Ajax started broadcasting to the rest of the team through his image link on what was occurring. Tatters starts digging on the matrix for any information on the SFPD and the local precinct.

The whole team was watching as the handprint scanner displayed that he was wanted by UCAS military for desertion and AWOL. Ajax is immediately taken into custody and taken to jail. Before the police could link Ajax to the rest of the team, Tatters hacks and bricks his commlink.

Shocked at the early morning incident, the team decides to move forward with the job and will worry about Ajax later. Bowjack does decide to lookup an attorney that could help him and scheduled an appointment with Johnson and Lo Wang for later that day. The plan was for the team to meet up at the Dragon Panda and have lunch to check the place out. Eternal stays behind and does some legwork for his family responsibilities. When they get there, they go into the buffet in pairs and get some food. They do notice that some Triad members are present and there is pretty good security here. After some time, they hear the crash of broken dishes and screaming coming from the kitchen. A young woman comes running from the back, through the restaurant and out the door crying. A large morbidly obese Chinese male with heavy cyberwear comes out from the back and yells that she is fired! Looking back at the image they were provided, which appears severely dated, and find that this is their mark. Concern amongst the team spreads as they realize that this man must weigh close to 800lbs.

Seeing an opportunity, Walker and Bowjack rush out to follow the fired waitress. Bowjack trips and falls, but Walker is able to catch up to her and started a conversation to keep her from getting in a cab and leaving. Tatters gets a bead on her commlink and puts a mark on it for use later. Walker talks her into letting him pay for a cab and escort her home to allow her to vent as she needs. Tatters then does some searching on the Matrix for her and finds an image on her social media of her, their mark and their Johnson together at a family function. About that same time, Walker learns that the waitress, who is Janet Che, is the niece of Xiu Yang.

At this revelation, Tatters does some more digging and learns that the Johnson, Lien Cheng, and Xiu Yang had divorced 3 years ago. Furthermore, he located a life insurance policy that named her as the beneficiary. As a kicker, the life insurance policy has an accidental death clause that will pay out if he was to suffer an accidental death. It seems that the team has stumbled across quite the dilemma. One of their members has been arrested, their job is to eliminate the ex husband of their Johnson and to make it look like an accident AND they find that their Johnson will receive a life insurance policy payout upon the accidental death of her ex husband … yes, quite the pickle they find themselves in.

~Calypso

Aspen and Calypso — Behind the Curtain

So I find myself discussing internally what will happen. I just got done with a discussion with Walker about the team possibly having to leave the Tir. On my drive home, I start to think about who I know that I can call in a favor with. At this point, it seems like Detroit, Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the San Francisco metroplex would be the best bets. I decided to place a call to Calypso in San Francisco. Just the thought of that name sends goosebumps everywhere. Back in the day when I was a runner, Calypso worked with me on a number of jobs. She is another shaman that follows a different set of rules. She, how can I put this nicely, is quite the manipulator. There have been quite a few jams that we got out of due to her looks, and a few jams because of her looks. She is a beautiful woman and she knows it. After our running days, we both took up being fixers. Calypso took up residence in the Bay Area and I moved into the Tir. She was there during the occupation and helped to oust Saito and his forces. Lets give her a call.

The commlink rings. “Aspy … Its been a long time,” She answers. “Hey Calypso, I have a some chips that I need to cash in.

Chips??? I didnt know we still dealt with chips. If thats the case, then I still have a bank full of favors left. So what can I do for you, love?

Frag, Calypso, do start that drek again. I have a runner team that needs to be relocated. The Tir is getting a little hot and they need to get out with a quickness.

Well Aspy, you know that I can always use more help down here. Ever since that Imperialist asshat left, the Corps are here thinking they own the place. Go ahead and send me their info and give them my comm number. Once they get here and settled in, then I will put them to work.

Thanks Calypso, I really appreciate this.

You know, Aspy, you should come down for a visit some time. You know that the Bay Area has better tacos than those dandilion eaters up there.

Hahahahaha, yes Calypso, I will make my way there for a visit some time. Until then, take care of my runners.

The conversation and the call ends with the usual pleasantries.

Retaliation: Exodus — Behind the Curtain

The sounds of pneumatic tools and the smell of engines permeate the warehouse. Scott Wilkins, an Ork mechanic for the Spanners, is working along side his drone. They are working on fitting a Ford Americar with some armor plating. “Now just hold the plate right there,” he tells the drone. Once its in place, he fires up the welder and sets it in place. His mind wanders to the announcements of the previous raids on the Shadowrunners that blew up the library. “Those fraggers are going to pay for this!” His thoughts go back to his girlfriend, Anita, who was at the library during their raid. When the composite plate was welded on, he orders the drone to get the next piece.

Over the mic, he hears commotion about a possible security breach. Before he could process what was happening, he hears the sounds of the security drones move into place and start firing. As he looked around to survey what was going on, the others in the warehouse grab their weapons and start taking up defensive positions. Then the sounds of a revving engine fill the warehouse as a GMC Phoenix comes blasting through the warehouse garage doors and slams into a parked Bulldog. The security drones continue to fire at the bullet-hole ridden car.

Then, all of a sudden, the drones stop firing and the warehouse is dead silent. Orders are barked out and a group of gangers move up to the car. A pair of panthers were also released and are approaching the car. Another group of gangers, armed with assault rifles and wearing armor, move into covering position. Before the team moves in on the car, the telltale sound of the assault cannon from the ceiling mounted drone takes aim and fires. The cannon round hits dead on to the Phoenix and the following explosion was much more than expected. The resounding explosion blew past the first two ranks of gangers, the damaged Bulldog truck flew and crashed into the opposite wall and the front of the warehouse begins to collapse when the entire front of the warehouse is blown out.

As the front of the warehouse comes down on top of the burning wreckage, nearby gangers start to choke as they shout out warnings. Soon, everyone near the wreckage was dead and others started harnessing their gas masks. “What the hell is going on?” Scott asks himself as he quickly puts on his ballistic mask with the built in gas mask. Another team was assembled and approached the wreckage. There were bodies everywhere, but they were all gangers. Then word got around that there was nobody nearby. It appears that the Phoenix was driven remotely.

Then there were new sounds that filled the air. The whining sound of a pair of Peace Force VTOLs that took up position over the collapsed part of the warehouse. Some stupid idiot decided to fire the assault cannon at it and it struck it straight in the left engine. When the left engine exploded, the VTOL started to waver back and forth as the pilot fought to regain control of it. The gunner started firing on the nearby gangers, who in turn, started firing back. The VTOL was too damaged by the initial cannon round to stay aloft and came crashing down on top of the warehouse, further collapsing it.

With a vengeance, the Peace Forces came in hard. The second VTOL opened fired with its own assault cannon as ground troops repelled from the aircraft. Before long, the Peace Forces had the situation controlled. The remaining gangers, including Scott, were lined up with hands behind their heads and seated on the ground. As he looked around at the others, he noticed one of the Peace Force elves talking on his commlink. He nodded as he received his orders. He walked up to the group, with two other officers. “For crimes against the subjects of Cara’Sir, those of you present are indicted on all charges. By the power vested in me by the Council of Princes, you are all hereby found guilty and punishment is death.” He pulled out his assault rifle and begn firing. Scott closed his eyes and though of Anita. She was his last thought as the bullets from the firing squad ripped through his body.

The scene cuts to a pair of orks looking out a vehicle’s windshield. A call comes in and shows a video of another ork. “Boss, the warehouse has been compromised.” You see a familiar looking chrome plated cyberarm with intricate glyphs slam on the dashboard. “What happened?” he asked. “It was attacked .. Peace Force officers are on scene.” The clenched cyberarm fist slams into the dash again as the driver makes a turn in the vehicle. “Understood. Send anyone that is left underground for now while we regroup.” And the camera fades to black.