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THURSDAY, 3ND AUGUST, 2057
SEATTLE (UCAS)

17°C | 62°F
Current:
Rain
Wind: S at 6 mph
Humidity: 77%

Shadowrunners:

  • Bookworm (Herodian); Human Wizard
  • Ditch (Gigermann); Human Traceur
  • Ivory (Melissa); Human Social-Engineer
  • Mr. M (Winston); Human Hacker
  • Paladin (Rigil Kent); Human/Dhampir Street Samurai

sr-seattleport

Scot Free

…Continued. From the shadows of the darkened hallway, still crouched, Ditch exposed only his shotgun, using its HUD-linked scope to line up a corner-shot on thug number-five, but took a lucky burst from his target’s assault carbine through the sheet-rock wall—as before, the shots failed to penetrate his armor, but the continued abuse had taken a toll. He managed to keep his aim on-target, but missed; the shotgun was now empty, so he fell back to a dark corner to wait for number-six, coming to flank him.

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At the same time, number-five had moved to a new position further back into the warehouse; Paladin, still gravely injured, dropped down from the crane assembly onto the top of the thugs’ van, and stumbled down to the floor; Mr. M sprinted around the edges of the warehouse floor in a wide flanking move, using support pillars for cover; Bookworm advanced to the nearest corner and prepared a thrown Stun spell, popping briefly around to throw it but falling short; and Ivory scrambled evasively to the center pile of crates to number-five’s flank, which caught his attention as she tried to circle around. Finding himself now cornered, number-five frantically fell back to the offices behind him and slammed the door shut.

Meanwhile, number-six had crossed the conference room and approached the door to Ditch’s hallway, carefully easing it open, cutting tactically around the corner, rifle-first, to avoid exposing himself to a surprise attack. Ditch was hiding in the corner, reeling from his earlier battering, knives bared and waiting in ambush. As number-six came into view in the doorway, Ditch sprang forward with a one-two swing of his blades that the thug knocked away with his rifle—which was cut deep, but not destroyed, flinging bits of plastic hand-guard everywhere—followed by another one-two, a high fake that caused the thug to duck his head into the follow-up swing, resulting in Ditch’s monowire blade bisecting his head from crown to palate.

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Back on the other side of the warehouse, Bookworm had moved to the side of the door that number-five had fled through, while Ivory and Mr. M had advanced through the nearby hallway and were in position at another door to the same office, while Paladin quietly crossed through some adjacent office-rooms in a flanking move. Nearly-simultaneously, they all forced their way in to find number-five ducked behind a desk (his back to Paladin), and another thug, number-seven, in the far corner screaming for backup into a land-line phone receiver. In a matter of seconds and a cacophonous hail of small-arms fire from all directions, the two remaining thugs were bleeding out on the floor. In the process, Bookworm had reflexively used Return Missile to reflect part of a burst of rifle-fire meant for him back into his attacker, number-five, but one bullet struck him through anyway, penetrating his light armor; he was seriously wounded, though clinging to consciousness.

With all immediate foes out of action and expecting reinforcements at any moment, the DXM team quickly surveyed the aftermath: it appeared that this last office was, in fact, the BTL production facility, so Mr. M set about working on one of the less bullet-riddled computers to recover the “Cecilia” source code. Ditch tossed Bookworm a diagnostic smart bandage; Paladin applied it for him, to stop the bleeding and get him stabilized—ironic, as Bookworm usually does the “healing”—and then carried him to the back of the van, their impromptu method of egress. While M continued to work on the computers, the others looted the van’s keys, assault carbines, ammunition, and certified credsticks from the fallen. Once Mr. M had located the code, he made a copy for return to Freedom Entertainment, the client, and erased all the hard-drives they could find, including the on-site security camera recordings; all the production equipment was piled up, and Ditch put a couple of high-explosive rounds from his shotgun into the pile (after deciding EMP might not be quite “permanent” enough). With no time to spare, M took the driver’s seat of the van as the rest of the team piled in where they could, and they hasted toward the facility’s gate, smashed through it, and continued up the street at a more-casual pace, out of the area. They were passed by an incoming Lone Star vehicle whose occupants appeared to take no notice of them; a clean getaway, it seemed.

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The team took the van to a lonely parking area in a less-patrolled part of Redmond Barrens and put it to the torch, hoping to eliminate any further evidence of their involvement. Ivory made the call to Claudia to announce the mission’s completion, and arrange a meeting to hand off the remaining chips—at Transporters—while the others flagged down a taxi. Some time later, they arrived at the bar. Vapor was about to lock up for the night…er, morning, but he let his old comrades in, marveling at their battered and/or bloodied appearance—all but Ivory had been shot—and remembering why he was retiring from shadowrunning. Punctual as always, Claudia showed up and greeted Vapor, who escorted her to the staff-room where the team awaited; again, Vapor hung around to listen in, but was distracted by Ivory’s flirting. Though Claudia had already offered to handle the negotiations with the client, she offered the team the opportunity to handle it themselves, but they were too hurt and exhausted to bother, ready to get it over with. Mr. M handed over the chips, including the new ones in the metal case that “Cho” had gifted to Ghoul (though Ivory had to be “prompted” to let go her prize), and they gave their assurances that there was no more to be had but what had already been sold on the street. Claudia asked if there was anything they wanted to add to the negotiations; they didn’t capture Cho/Tanaka, their secondary objective, but they said to let the company know his real name, and that he was Yakuza, and the client could do with that information what they would. Their business concluded, Claudia thanked the team for a job well done (and less messy than usual) and said she’d be in touch regarding payment, and she left the bar; she was followed shortly by the rest of the team as they went their separate ways, to rest and heal.

Ditch went to a street-doc near home to get patched up, and after a day’s rest, went to recover his bike left two blocks down from the scene; Paladin did pretty much the same. Bookworm went home to recover, and took around four days to magically heal himself to full health before attempting to recover his car, left a bit closer, about a block away from the scene. As his taxi passed close enough by his car, he cast a quick Detect Observation spell on it, felt that it was being watched, and decided to come back another time. A week later, he tried again, but his car was no longer there, presumably impounded, so he decided to count it a loss.

DXM would hear later of some violence at the hotel where Ghoul was supposed to have met “Ann Benoit” for their date, and of a hefty price put by the Yakuza on her fictitious head, as well as her compatriots—there were some exceptionally-vague descriptions that the team guessed to be Ditch and Paladin, from being sighted at Ghoul’s place. They made enemies, not friends, this time around. Their payday, less Claudia’s cut and split five ways, would come to ¥16,000 apiece—a good haul for a night’s work.


Notes

  • This session ended up a week late due to absences the previous week
  • We discovered a bit late in the process that we really hadn’t discussed any sort of escape plan prior to committing to the break-in operation; we had to improvise once the area was pacified
  • Again, the characters would probably have left Vapor and his retirement alone if not for the meta-game purpose of setting up a proper headquarters for the Team
  • After it was over, the GM gave us, as a group, a “temporary” Enemy (Yakuza) that would last for a d6 (result=4) months. He would have given us an extra CP for a “clean getaway” except we had to be reminded about the security camera footage
  • This is the last session of this run; until next time. It would have run a bit longer, probably, if not for the extra-long sessions

FRIDAY, 13TH JULY, 2057
SEATTLE (UCAS)

17°C | 63°F
Current:
Rain
Wind: S at 6 mph
Humidity: 73%

Shadowrunners:

  • Bookworm (Herodian); Human Wizard
  • Ditch (Gigermann); Human Traceur
  • Ivory (Melissa); Human Social-Engineer
  • Mr. M (Winston); Human Hacker
  • Paladin (Rigil Kent); Human/Dhampir Street Samurai

Forced Entry

Ditch quickly hopped onto his motorcycle and kicked it to life, taking up the pursuit of Ghoul’s vehicle as it left the club. Paladin was the next out of the club doors, and followed suit. The two were in two-way communication via their commlinks, and coordinated their efforts to keep up with the car while not looking like they were trying to keep up—as far as they could tell, they had been successful. They followed Ghoul up to the point where they were certain he was pulling into the alley-warehouse where they had encountered him previously, and discontinued the pursuit.

During the “chase,” Mr. M and Ivory joined Bookworm in his car as he headed out to support the effort. In the back seat, M examined the chips for any chance of determining their point of origin, not really expecting to find anything and finding what he expected; he jacked in to make sure they had the right stuff, and forcing himself to stop after a few minutes, decided it would be a bad idea to ever do it again—good stuff. As Ditch and Paladin called in their findings, they all agreed to meet at Vapor’s new bar, Transporters.

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Vapor welcomed his DXM former-teammates into his automotive-themed bar, and inquired about the “new guys” (Paladin and Ivory). They were sure he knew why they had come, and were reluctant to remind him of the life he was trying to give up, out of respect for that decision. They admitted they were just here looking for a safe place to talk shop; Vapor offered his staff-room for some privacy, and as they settled in, he remained in the room to listen in.

Ivory started making some phone calls to her contacts, to see who might have some information regarding Tanaka Saiko’s comings and goings. Her Hawk Wheels biker gang guy-who-knows-a-guy, Axel, wasn’t available, but she did manage to catch an old fixer she used to run with, Bob. He told her of Tanaka’s father, Tamuka, and his company, Tamuka Imports & Exports, with warehouses at Pier 47; he also said they had a couple of Lone Star cops on “retainer.” After Ivory shared the info with the others, Mr. M pulled out his brand new deck and jacked into the matrix, to see what he could find out about the company, and its local holdings. He found the place quickly enough, but their security was no joke; alarms were sounded, and he had to bail before being back-traced. They definitely had CCTV at the warehouse, but he was unable to get any video from them. Meanwhile, Ditch and the others reviewed available satellite photos of the warehouse area to look for potential ways to sneak in and out. The team had no direct evidence that Tanaka was producing the “Cecilia” BTL chips at his father’s warehouse, but they were convinced enough that it was so that they decided to execute an “exploratory” surgical strike to see what they could find. All the tangling-with-Yakuza talk was causing Vapor some understandable concern for his safety, and he politely encouraged the Team to leave before someone he’d regret came looking for them here. They had what they needed for now, anyway.

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The Team went to the docks south of downtown, parking their vehicles a block or two away from the address they had, and stealthily approached the warehouse to reconnoiter. As they observed, they saw a van arrive at the front gate. A security guard got out of the van to let it through the gate, and into the warehouse itself. Inside, a handful of rifle-armed security types dismounted before the roll-up door was closed behind the van, two of which went back outside and started combing the nearby container-yard for possible intruders, eventually posting up at the door. The Team assumed the arrival of the van was a result of M’s triggering of the facility’s matrix security protocols. The Team also observed the CCTV network cameras on the building’s exterior—good coverage, that would make a stealthy approach difficult, but they weren’t going to see what they needed to see from outside. To start, they needed to get eyes on the inside. It was decided that Bookworm would cast a Fly spell on Ditch, allowing him to avoid the cameras and land on the warehouse roof, where he could find a way to gain entry (the spell would last a minute or so before wearing off—a one-shot). At Ditch’s word, Bookworm would cast Fly on the rest, in turn, so they could follow up.

As discussed, the spell was cast, and Ditch flew over the warehouse and landed on the roof, near an elevated section to the fore. The only point of entry he could find there was some heavy ventilation louvers; he produced one of his monowire blades and, as quietly as he could, sheared off the bolts that held the frame in place, and crawled through, climbing on top of the crane assembly there. He spotted two of the guards on the floor inside, and the light switches near the front roll-up door on the other side of their van. Ditch texted the others with his plan: on their ready-signal, he would give a ten-count and drop, killing the lights and taking out as many of the guards as he could, while the others took care of the two outside, before making entry. Bookworm started his casting with Paladin. Then the signal was given, as Paladin launched himself over the warehouse toward the outside guards.

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Ditch gave a silent count, then maneuvered into position, hanging over the area with the switches, and dropped to the warehouse floor, rolling to a stand and slapping the light-switches off. Ditch’s cybernetic eyes allowed him to see perfectly in the darkness, while the guards fumbled around trying to locate the intruder. Ditch heard the footsteps of a third guard coming out of an adjacent room and, quickly and stealthily, climbed up on some nearby containers; he lined up his shotgun, loaded with an APHC slug, and shot guard number-three through the heart before he could turn the lights back on. The others sprayed fire blindly at the location of the shotgun’s muzzle-flash but hit nothing but air, as Ditch was elsewhere, quickly maneuvering into position to kill them. As Ditch crept slowly around a pile of crates to come up behind the two, a fourth guard had emerged from a back office and had managed to fumble his way straight to the light switches, and turned them back on. As the lights warmed up, Ditch slashed guard number-one’s skull with a monowire blade, decapitating him instantly. With the lights now on, and in plain sight, Ditch tried to put down guard number-two quickly before number-four, at the switches, could line up a rifle shot on him; his quarry got off a rifle burst at point-blank range, but none of his rounds struck cleanly enough to penetrate Ditch’s reflex armor. Ditch sprang forward to slash him deep through the sternum, before rolling back behind the crates in a crouch, just in time for a long burst from number-four to explode through—struck again, but the bullets were slowed by the cover and again, failed to penetrate his armor. Number-two didn’t get far before passing out from blood loss. Ditch sprinted for the darkest corner he could find, and waited for an opportunity to take out number-four; some minutes passed in a stand-off, as neither were willing to expose themselves to attack, the guard crying out for aid from his fellows.

Meanwhile, outside the warehouse door, Paladin landed behind one of the guards and ran him through with a monowire katana, then turned his attention to the other, who was bringing his weapon to bear. In an instant, Paladin fast-drew his machine-pistol and pulled the trigger—mechanical failure—as his intended target fired his assault rifle; a lucky burst that nearly killed Paladin outright. Mr. M and Ivory were some distance behind, still flying to the scene; seeing their teammate in apparent trouble, they began firing as they flew in. Taking quick and desperate advantage of the distraction, Paladin flew up to the roof of the warehouse to recover, and passed out. As M and Ivory exchanged fire with the remaining guard, still closing the distance. Bookworm followed up, but diverted to land next to Paladin, and used his healing magic to bring the fallen teammate back to a more-functional state (though still seriously wounded). The remaining guard was struck many times before finally succumbing to M’s and Ivory’s fire. As Bookworm joined them on the ground, Ivory produced a tool kit and went straight to bypass the locks on the roller-door.

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A couple of minutes later; Ditch had stolen away into a nearby office, and was using the dark hallways to circle around to the other end of the warehouse; Paladin had limped through Ditch’s entry-point on the roof, and was situated atop the crane assembly, unseen; and Ivory succeeded in releasing the lock on the roller-door. As it lifted slowly open, Mr. M was incautiously standing in plain view in front of the door, and was reminded of his folly by automatic fire from around the van, from where guard number-four had relocated himself in an attempt to get a better angle on Ditch’s last-known position. The three at the door used the van as cover to return fire on number-four, while Paladin rained down fire upon him from his vantage atop the crane—number-four tried in vain to escape, crawling a few yards before slipping into unconsciousness and death. As Ditch continued to creep toward the back of the warehouse, he was fired upon through a window by a fifth guard, using another pile of crates as cover in the middle of the bay; Ditch crawled under the window, through the broken glass on the floor, to emerge in the shadows on the other side of the window, hoping to catch number-five by surprise. He was not aware of the sixth guard, who had emerged from another office, and was rushing to enter the corner-office behind Ditch, reacting to his fellow’s direction; Paladin spotted the maneuver from above, and commed Ditch to warn him.
To be continued…


Notes

  • Again, the GM’s schedule allowed us to go long on the session; although it was probably the longest session we’ve ever played with this group, we still ended up cutting out in the middle of the fight, to be continued
  • The players had been talking about needing an HQ of some kind, the obvious choice being a bar/club with a private floor, basement, or whatever, for the Team; taking advantage of Vapor’s retirement, the seeds of such a place are now sown
  • M’s matrix run was the first time we used the hacking rules from Pyramid 3/21, “Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung Fu”—only a taste, at this point; we’ll see how it works out in the future
  • As with last session, Paladin’s player was having a particularly bad night at the dice; this time, the GM’s dice got involved as well, and dealt him a Critical Hit that nearly cost him his life

FRIDAY, 13TH JULY, 2057
SEATTLE (UCAS)

17°C | 63°F
Current:
Rain
Wind: S at 6 mph
Humidity: 73%

Shadowrunners:

  • Bookworm (Herodian); Human Wizard
  • Ditch (Gigermann); Human Traceur
  • Ivory (Melissa); Human Social-Engineer
  • Mr. M (Winston); Human Hacker
  • Paladin (Rigil Kent); Human/Dhampir Street Samurai

Losing Hand

After being briefly confronted by a curious neighbor, Mr. M and Paladin fled Cho’s apartment and left the complex via the apartments’ enclosed fire escape, triggering the door-alarm as they exited before security forces could arrive. They didn’t get far before being contacted by the other DXM members, and directed to meet up on the street the BTL-dealer they found in the club had identified as Ghoul’s turf; the others were already en route.

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The light drizzle turned to rain as the Team reunited, to compare notes. They set about scouring the indicated street for possible criminal headquarters, and found a likely spot: a dark, narrow alley spanned by a fence-gate, guarded by a gruff-looking ork smoking a cigarette. There appeared to be a courtyard beyond. Ditch volunteered to scout the site from the rooftops, and Paladin offered to go along.

The two found a good spot to ascend a short way down the block, a rain-slicked fire escape to an adjoining building. They scaled up, and made their way to the alley. Ditch, being the more-skilled at this sort of thing, was in the lead. As they approached their intended, initial vantage point, Paladin slipped up and put his knee through a weak spot in the roofing; as far as Ditch could tell, the misstep had attracted no attention, so they continued the operation. In position, they observed the ork, and a pair of female “entertainment” in front of a warehouse back-entrance, chatting; the guard was armed with a submachine gun, laying atop an oil-drum—clearly not expecting trouble. As Ditch and Paladin quietly relayed the intel, the other Team members spotted two thug-types forcibly leading a third up to the gate, flipping up a hidden wall-panel to press a buzzer; Ditch and Paladin observed the ork react to the buzzer and approach the gate. The new thugs were greeted in a friendly manner, and allowed to enter with their charge, who was seated on a crate in the courtyard before being led inside a beat later.

As Ditch and Paladin continued to observe, Ivory, Bookworm and Mr. M approached the gate and pressed the buzzer. The ork-guard approached the gate again and challenged the strangers; Ivory stated that she and her “bodyguards” were here to see Ghoul, but would not divulge the nature of her business with him to “the help.” The guard grudgingly let them through, and took them into the warehouse.

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Inside the warehouse, they found the two thugs from before, flanking the third guy, standing before what appeared to be their boss —presumably, Ghoul— a somewhat-pale, Oriental fellow with a traditional “Fu-Manchu” beard. They watched as the third man pleaded for mercy, but it was not granted; at Ghoul’s nod, the two thugs restrained him, holding his right hand forward as Ghoul unceremoniously sawed off his pinky with a knife. After the initial screaming had passed, Ghoul held up the severed digit before “Mr. Fail,” saying, “Let this serve as a reminder to you that I do not accept failure.” He then put the bloody end to his lips, and sucked it like it was candy, before casting it aside. Ivory managed to choke back her disgust at the display. With a wave of dismissal, Mr. Fail was half-carried back out the way they came, where Ditch and Paladin observed his release.

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Ghoul then turned his attention to Ivory and her bodyguards, inquiring about their business with him, and confirming that they had indeed found their man. Ivory assumed her “Southern Belle” persona, Anne Benoit, and claimed to be looking to distribute high-grade BTL in the Confederation, and was exclusively interested in this new “Cecilia” thing she’s heard about. Deceptively, perhaps, though there was no outward indication, Ghoul seemed to be genuinely interested in the opportunity, and how this out-of-towner came to know of Cecilia. He insisted on knowing who Ivory was working for; she responded in kind, offering to trade revelations. Amused, Ghoul invited her into his nearby office.

Meanwhile, at the rooftops, Ditch and Paladin began to creep their way over to a skylight atop the warehouse building. Once again, the rain-slicked masonry betrayed Paladin while scaling down, and he fell with an audible thud. Concerned about the possibility of detection, Ditch decided to see if the courtyard occupants had reacted to the sound; as he peeked over the roof’s edge, he locked eyes with one of the guards who just so happened to be looking in that direction at that moment—probably only saw the pale glow of his eyes in the shadow. Ditch simply slipped back out of sight, but the thug yelled after whoever-it-was on the roof to show himself. There was no reply. Ditch quietly announced over the commlink that, “We’ve been made”—which Ivory could hear on her comm implant—before he and Paladin continued creeping forward, intent on not being where the thugs had spotted him.

Bookworm and Mr. M followed Ivory and Ghoul into the office, where he offered them some warm sake before continuing the conversation with Ivory. On the spot, Ivory offered as her employer the “Ditched Paladins,” a well-known street gang in the South. In kind, Ghoul strongly hinted that he belonged to the Yakuza—confirming what they already suspected after the “pinky” incident earlier. The back-and-forth continued, and Ghoul eventually revealed that he had a local production facility for the manufacture of copies of the Cecilia chips. Ivory responded with “feminine wiles,” throwing him off-balance (and probably “her bodyguards” as well), and extracting an offer to give her a tour of the facility; she agreed to let him pick her up tomorrow evening at her hotel (which he didn’t know she hadn’t checked into yet—M would have to fix that).

The lascivious display was interrupted, as one of the thugs from outside came in to inform Ghoul of the roof-sighting. After demanding they get up there and get rid of the pests, he asked Ivory if she knew anything about the roof-lurkers, or if it were a mere coincidence—she innocently claimed coincidence. Ghoul then excused himself, the business at-hand having been for-the-most-part concluded, and politely escorted the three of them back to the courtyard.

Through the skylight, Ditch and Paladin could see the Ground Team leaving, and were about to clear off the roof to the street when they heard the thugs climbing up in that direction; they decided instead to sneak back the way they came up. However, once the thugs reached the roof, they moved fairly quickly; Paladin fell behind Ditch’s expert pace, and had to duck out of the way, keeping to the shadows as the thugs passed him by. Ditch spotted Paladin’s predicament, and made a bit of noise to get the thugs moving his direction, drawing them in before bolting out of the shadows to scramble up the wall to the adjoining higher-level rooftop. The thugs opened fire with pistols; one bullet struck Ditch in the back, not penetrating his armored trenchcoat, and slowing him not at all. The thugs continued to pursue, one boosting the other up the ten-foot rise; as the thug on top pulled his head and arm over the lip of the roof, his face was met with the rainy, cold barrel of a shortened combat shotgun, and behind that, a glowing pair of eyes in the shadow. A voice colder than the gun-barrel chastised him, saying, “You don’t know what you’re fuckin’ with”—at which point, the thug lost all interest in continued pursuit, much to the confusion of his partner below, still boosting him up.

Below, Ivory, Bookworm and Mr. M were being let out of the gate, when everyone there heard gunfire from above—the Ground Team figured the Roof Team could handle themselves, or they would’ve commed for help, so they joked with their new comrades about the “rats around here” before heading to their waiting transportation. They were met a few minutes later by Ditch and Paladin, who had made good their respective escapes, and they all left to look into their other lead, the nightclub, Synapse, where they hoped to find John Cho.

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Synapse lacked the usual line of potential entrants that one would normally expect at this time of night, presumably due to the need to stand in the rain. The doorman was a heavily-muscled man who was clearly disinterested in his job; he didn’t bother with more than a look-over for weapons before letting the Team through the door.

It didn’t take long for them to spot John Cho lounging in the glass-fronted VIP enclosure, and they seated themselves at a nearby lounge area within line-of-sight of the VIP room. Cho looked as he did in the tagged image that Mr. M found on his social media profile, not in the company dossier, and he was accompanied by some “female entertainment”—looking like quite the high-roller.

Some time later, the Team observed a new arrival at the club entrance—Ghoul, accompanied by a single bodyguard. He did not spot Ivory, but went straight to the VIP room, where he was greeted by Cho as an old friend and ushered in. A beat later, an attractive woman looking less than alert—drugged, or drunk, perhaps?—was brought to the VIP room by a couple of burly fellows; Cho’s body language and Ghoul’s reaction (in lieu of being able to hear what was said) seemed to suggest the girl was a “gift” to Ghoul. The Yakuza middleman sniffed the girl up and down for bit, before appearing to sink his teeth into her neck, confirming the Team’s suspicions from earlier—undoubtedly, Ghoul was a vampire (raising Paladin’s ire, as he possessed a long-standing, unquenchable hatred of them). The “gift” was allowed to slump to the table, and Ghoul and Cho continued their business. Cho presented Ghoul with a BTL chip—the team assumed this to be a new build of the Cecilia program, indicating that he was still working on it—along with a sensie player; Ghoul jacked in for a bit, and seemed approving after unplugging. Cho put the chip in a carry case that contained several more, which Ghoul slipped into his jacket pocket.

As the scene in the VIP played out, the Team discussed how to proceed. They needed to find out what name Cho might be using to find more information about his recent activities, so Mr. M took the initiative by going over to the bar and bumping into a waitress (that had been serving the VIP room) on the way. After a duel-of-apologies, M asked who it was in the VIP, so that he could buy him a drink to replace the one he had spilled; the waitress revealed his name as Tanaka Saiko, the club’s owner. Bookworm recognized the surname as one commonly associated with the Seattle Yakuza. Now the pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit together: “John Cho” was a Yakuza agent inserted into the company specifically to steal their work; after it was stolen, the “Cho” identity was no longer needed. Of course, this meant that in order to accomplish the mission—recover the data and return Cho to the company—would require crossing the Yakuza. On the Team’s behalf, Bookworm called Claudia to inform her of their revelation; she acknowledged the tricky situation, and responded with a challenge: to choose a side. From that point, the Team’s discussion took on a new focus, that is, how to accomplish the letter of their mission without pissing off the Yakuza—not an easy task. Any way, their only play was to ambush one or both of Ghoul and Cho…Tanaka as they left the club.

Some time later, Ghoul and his bodyguard left the VIP and headed toward the club’s entrance. With no time to consider, Ivory caught up to Ghoul at the door and bumped into him, playing at being drunk, while picking his pocket; she managed to come up with the chip-case without being noticed. Ghoul pretended he wasn’t suspicious of this second “coincidence,” and promised to see her again at the agreed-upon time.

The rest of DXM was a short distance behind, Ditch being the first out the door. He watched Ghoul and his bodyguard cross the street and enter their vehicle. He relayed the make-and-model to the others, and hasted to his bike to follow.


Notes

  • Paladin’s player had a particularly bad night with the dice, especially when it came to the sneaking about; Paladin isn’t as skilled as Ditch in that regard, but not that much
  • The GM didn’t have any nationally-known gangs headquartered in the South in mind, so he left it to Ivory’s player to come up with a name: she offered the Ditched Paladins, the inspiration for which should be pretty obvious
  • I was having a hard time not having Ditch kill the thugs at the warehouse, but I didn’t want to spoil Ivory’s cover. After the fact, I realized that his having his face seen by them, though obscured by the darkness, might be an issue later—so he probably should have killed them
  • Ivory got damned lucky picking Ghoul’s pocket; she only has an 11, and the case was in an inside pocket
  • Due to the circumstances at home at the time, the GM had nothing pressing going on, so we ended up playing extra late, hence the length, here. In spite of the extra time, though, the “investigatory” goings-on still tended to drag on, as usual; we’re working on a solution to that

THURSDAY, 12TH JULY, 2057
SEATTLE (UCAS)

20°C | 68°F
Current:
Rain
Wind: S at 7 mph
Humidity: 63%

Shadowrunners:

  • Bookworm (Herodian); Human Wizard
  • Ditch (Gigermann); Human Traceur
  • Ivory (Melissa); Human Social-Engineer
  • Mr. M (Winston); Human Hacker
  • Paladin (Rigil Kent); Human/Dhampir Street Samurai

Security Leak

20:00, 3.14 weeks since the showdown with the Wrecking Crew.

Kyra

Ditch returned home from getting breakfast. In the hall outside his Redmond Barrens low-rent apartment, he found Kyra, his little sister in all but blood, is waiting for him. Inside, while raiding his fridge, the thirteen-year-old claimed this was nothing more than a social call, but Ditch suspected she has something troubling on her mind—trouble with foster-parents, maybe? The fridge yielding less than optimal results, she convinced Ditch to take her to get something to eat; at a nearby Stuffer Shack, he finally coaxed the truth out of her—she needed to borrow ¥2000 to bail her boyfriend out of some trouble. Mid-intervention, the phone rings: Claudia calling about a job. Ditch agreed to meet at the specified bar downtown—always a different place—and to get in contact with Mr. M and Bookworm on her behalf. Time to go to work; the intervention would have to wait. Ditch took Kyra back to the apartment and gave her the money—he had plenty, so it was no bother to him—but knowing the Street as he did, he knew better than to think the money would wipe away the problems by itself; he tried to explain that it was the boyfriend’s responsibility to pay back the loan, and not hers, but parenting/mentoring not being a skill anywhere near his résumé, she took it the wrong way. He offered to drop her off somewhere, but she refused, opting instead to walk home in the rain. Disappointed but resigned, he got back to work calling up the other DXM members. He managed to get hold of Bookworm and M, before gearing up and heading downtown to the meeting.

As usual, Bookworm was about to head out clubbing with his bad-influence buddy, Wallace, when he got Ditch’s call, but dropped his plans for work’s sake; Wallace was annoyed at the interruption. As usual, Mr. M was surfing the matrix at the time Ditch texted him, and had simply missed Claudia’s earlier call; he agreed to the meeting as well. Vapor had spoken to Claudia already, and was unavailable on other business—still mentally recovering from his near-death at the business-end of a minigun, he had expressed the possibility of his early retirement from shadowrunning.

m7-bar1

claudia

m7-cho

Claudia awaited the Team in the upper level of the open-air bar, along with two others she had brought aboard for the operation: Ivory, and Paladin. Acquaintances were made; Bookworm immediately sidled up to Ivory, despite her obvious lack of interest. At Claudia’s request, Ditch shooed away nearby, uninvolved patrons. Then she briefed the team on the particulars of the mission: a subsidiary of Renraku tasked with development of an experimental sensie AI, called “Cecilia,” had suffered a leak of their alpha material, which was already hitting the underground BTL market; they needed all copies of the alpha recovered before it could spread. Their only lead was an AWOL employee from the development team, one John Cho, whose rather-light dossier Claudia downloaded to the team’s commlinks—bringing in Cho was a secondary objective. The deadline was ASAP, and as usual, discretion would be a necessity. Claudia produced a BTL chip, a copy of “Cecilia,” which she offered to Ivory for examination; Ivory jacked in, finding herself on a deserted beach with a beautiful woman—Ivory’s expression alone upon being disconnected revealed the developers’ success. Claudia informed the team that she would be attempting to get “as much as possible” in payment, with her usual 10% cut. The DXM team members had a long-standing trust-relationship with Claudia, and agreed to the terms without condition, as did the two additional runners.

As Claudia left the team to their work, they split into two groups: Mr. M stayed at the bar to do some internet research on Cho, with Paladin remaining to provide security; Bookworm and Ivory went to the only known source of distribution of the “Cecilia” BTLs, an alley behind a downtown club, with Ditch providing security.

Bookworm, Ivory and Ditch arrived at the alley, but found no one of interest there. They entered the adjoining club to start canvassing the patrons there for a source of the BTL; Bookworm and Ditch found a guy who said he had some for sale. When Bookworm inquired about his source (to prove they weren’t faked), he balked and started to distance himself; Ditch made a grab for the man, but he slipped away, just before Ivory slipped in behind him and tripped him up. Again, the dealer refused to give up his source, and again he tried to run; this time, Ditch chased him down and put him in an arm lock, forcing him back to the group. As they spotted the approach of the club’s bouncers, Ivory quickly hinted that they were cops, and that the dealer might end up in jail if he didn’t cooperate, but he demanded to see identification they didn’t actually have. Bookworm, in his natural environment at the club and knowing how these things work, convinced the bouncers that their “friend” had exceeded his limits, and they were taking him home; the bouncers allowed them to leave, escorting them all out the front door.

Outside the club, the still arm-locked dealer was led past the queue of potential club-entrants, around the corner into the alley, where they resumed their interrogation. They had the dealer pretty well confused and scared-for-his-life when Bookworm offered to buy the chips he had in exchange for the info about his source, to which the dealer (either reluctantly or unintentionally) agreed. Bookworm had ¥1250 on his person, which the dealer agreed to accept for three of the chips (he had six), and said his source went by the moniker, “Ghoul,” though he had overheard him being referred to by the name “Travis.”

Meanwhile, back at the bar…

Mr. M spent a while digging through the internet, but only managed to find a sparsely-populated, rarely-visited social media profile for John Cho, which M failed to hack into. He did manage to find an address, though.

m7-altcho

The two took Mr. M’s ride to Cho’s well-to-do corporate apartment. Rather than bother with the gate-guard, they found a side-door, and M bypassed the electronic security to allow them to enter. Inside the apartment complex, they decided to nevermind the CCTV cameras and just walk up to the apartment like they belonged. Of course, the apartment was locked; M lacked the tools to bypass the non-electronic lock, so Paladin applied his boot instead. Inside, the two found the usual salaryman’s accoutrements, but no immediate sign of its occupant. Mr. M immediately spotted Cho’s computer and set about mining it for info. Again, he found himself looking at Cho’s social media profile, but this time it was auto-logged-in, so he had full access; it was still pretty sparse, but one noteworthy detail was a photo of Cho tagged by a friend/acquaintance—interesting, as Cho’s appearance in that photo was quite different from the one in his company dossier. It appeared to have been taken in some sort of nightclub; M sent the image to Bookworm, who was able to identify the club as “Synapse.”

THURSDAY, 12TH JULY, 2057
SEATTLE (UCAS)

20°C | 68°F
Current:
Rain
Wind: S at 7 mph
Humidity: 63%

Shadowrunners:

  • Bookworm (Herodian); Human Wizard
  • Ditch (Gigermann); Human Traceur
  • Ivory (Melissa); Human Social-Engineer
  • Mr. M (Winston); Human Hacker
  • Paladin (Rigil Kent); Human/Dhampir Street Samurai

One man was fatally shot in a fight that broke out about 11:00 p.m. Saturday in the 4100 block of Southwest Forty-First Street in Seattle.

The victim was apparently part of a chaotic crowd that had emptied from a nearby nightclub, according to Lone Star Security forces.

The gunshot victim, who was not identified, was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead on arrival. No other casualties were reported, although bullet holes on the club have been tentatively identified as coming from a submachine gun of unknown manufacture. No such weapon has been discovered in the area.

Police said witnesses “were less than forthcoming with investigating officers.” Details of the shooting remain under investigation.

Update: Sources inside Lone Star have indicated that this killing is now suspected to be a robbery gone wrong, as the victim’s personal belongings were stripped from his body by an unknown person or persons, possibly the shooter.

Investigating officials have confirmed that all CCTV units in the area were offline prior to the incident so no recordings of the firefight exist.

Anyone with information regarding this shooting is encouraged to contact Lone Star.