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Shadowrun Saturday: The Taxi Cab Wars

by Ivo, Skimble, Joe, & Azrael

Prelude

Jonny Lin’s business, the Paper Fan Taxi Company, was finally turning a good profit, that is until his cabs began having “accidents”. Lee Chung’s company the Blue Dragon Taxi Company sees to be getting a lot more business. A war is brewing in the streets of Kowloon, the meter is running!

  • Danny AKA The Gweilo
  • Eclipse
  • Slacker
  • Bane
  • The Nameless One

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

I have been out on the streets for a long time, making a living as only a free-lance gun for hire can do: dodging bullets and rescuing fair and beautiful chicks from people who wish to do bad and questionable things to them. Not that I don’t wish to do questionable things to them too, its just that… I’m the good guy, and they’re.. Well anyway, I’ve been shadowrunning since November now, and I feel compelled to write down some of my experience to help other, less experienced street operatives. It can be a hard, cold, mean bastard out there, and if you get into a mess, there are people who will shoot you full of holes, carve you to pieces, steal your liver (that bit depends on the ammunition they’re using) (because if they’re using flechette or hollow points, and you get shot in the gut than you can kiss your liver good bye) Horrible way to go that… I’ve seen good men lying on the ground, crying like a baby and generally making a fool of themselves. That is why I always shoot for the head. I’m like that. Considerate.

Right, so anyway: 1st April 2070.

I was kicking back behind my desk reading a magazine, when my secretary knocked on the door and said I had a phone call. My secretary is tall, blond, and a bit like Gina Flowers, that actress off of ‘SARAH DOES SEATTLE’. She hadn’t been working for me very long, and our relationship is a private matter so I won’t discuss that.

POV: Slacker

They say there’s no such thing as loyalty on the streets, but that ain’t true, chummer. It’s a good thing too, after the drekking mess that Sammy’s jobs have got us in for the last few ‘Runs it’s pretty much only loyalty that keeps me working with him. Well, that and the fact that it really ain’t his fault that things go bad; he tries hard to get us straightforward runs, I’m sure… maybe it’s karma fuckin’ with us.

There’s such a thing as loyalty to your own people, too; us Dwarfs gotta stick together if we wanna make our way in the world. This latest job of Sammy’s was pretty much a charity case, pretty straightforward. And maybe it’d help rebalance our karma or some shit, who knows.

The job starts the usual way, with Sammy givin’ me a call. He tells me straight up that this is just some normal ‘dwarf on the street’ who needs some help. Biz has been slow recently anyway, after the thing with the cruise ship, so I’m more’n willing to hear the guy out.

Sammy and me meet up at a place called The Cabin at eight. At first it looks just like a blank wall between a coupla shops, but Sammy knocks and the ‘wall’ opens up to show a stairwell down. The place’s got low ceilings, just right for a dwarf.

The Cabin is pretty impressive to a guy like me. I’ve heard whispers about secret dwarf societies and dwarf-only places but never been to one; I ain’t exactly part of the social cream of dwarfkind. The place is underground and everything’s the right size for a guy like me, even the barstools, which pretty much knocks me out. It feels oddly like home, and it’s another reason why I feel I can’t turn down this crapshoot Sammy’s found for us.

The dude is a middle-aged type, looks like he ain’t had much sleep recently. He’s obviously scared drekless. He lays out the basic outline of the job.

He’s the majority stake owner in The Paper Fan Taxi, a company based in Kowloon. Last month Lee Chung the owner of a rival taxi company (The Blue Dragon Taxi company) offered him 200K to buy him out, and he told ‘em to fuck ‘emselves. The Paper Fan Taxi company is a family business and wants to remain so. Lee Chung does not want competition and indicated they should sell – or else! Then things started happening, cabs started breaking down, regulars were intimidated away. They are currently 6 cabs down, 3 written off, and another 3 missing after being stolen from the repair yard (Danny Kims).

He only has 10K to offer, and wants to buy protection. I tells ‘im it ain’t much and my team might not be willing to work for such a small amount, but given that it’s a charity case I tell ‘im I’ll see if I can persuade ‘em.

I figure Bane’ll be up for a bit of chaos and stuff even if the the pay is lousy… I just hope he won’t get bored or stimmed up and go on a rampage against the friendlies at the Paper Fan. I arrange to meet him at Virtuosos, my favourite place for this kind of drek ’cause I don’t have to go in my meatbod. I can be whatever or whoever I want, in a place like that. That’s what I call freedom, and so what if it ain’t real?

POV: TNO

It’s evening, and I’m in apartment laying out a series of different outfits over my bed as I try to decide what to wear. I’ve tried each of them several times, and I’m now trying them out in differing combinations. I pick up the red skirt and top, hold them against my body as I turn to look in the mirror, it’s just not quite right, but before I can think of how to improve the ensemble the matrix terminal starts buzzing an irritating tune. I sigh inwardly and throw the clothes back on the bed as I move to answer the call. I know who it is, it’s the ring-tone I set up for Slacker. Appropriate I feel, and irritating tone for the irritating dwarf. Still, lately the last few jobs from Sammy have come through him, so I hit the audio receive, making sure to keep the video off.

I’m right – it’s another job from Sammy, and the meet up is at Virtuoso’s. Slacker asks me to call Eclipse, and when he hangs up I do just that, only to find out Bane has already contacted her about the job. I’m looking forward to meeting Bane again, there’s that job he still needs to do for me.

I look over at all the smart outfits laying over my bed, but I turn away from them and head back to the wardrobe. T-shirt, jeans, and the urban explorer jumpsuit. I ponder briefly if I should pack the urban DPM overlay, but decide for tonight to stick with the bright multi-coloured look. I hit the street, the streetlights glaring just a bit too much, so I grab my shades before locking up, and head out to the meet.

POV: Slacker

Okay, so far I’ve got Bane and TNO (who seems to get weirder by the ‘Run) on board to hear out the details at least. I can’t help but think we might need some extra gunbunny backup and I ain’t seen my brother in a few months. I think for a few minutes about other ‘Runners who might be desperate enough to take a job like this and only come up with a coupla other options. That JD jackass, who I’m still thinking about introducin’ to my nightmare, and Danny Boy or whatever his name was; that Western gunmonkey.

I give ‘im a call and hear some angry expressions of disbelief that he’s taking it there and then. I hear some sort of fight break out as Danny Boy agrees to meet at Virtuosos to discuss the job.

I hang up, shakin’ my head and wonderin’ what that was all about; could have sworn I heard some drekker say something ’bout welching on a bet…

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

Footnote: never bet your gun in a poker game. There are good reasons for this, trust me. But I digress. The squirrel on the other end is called SLACKER. Slacker is my government contact and moonlights for the CIA. His contact is the leader of a terrorist network called THE DWARVEN UNDERGROUND. I can’t reveal any names, but his code-name is SAMMY LI. Slacker calls me and says that a friend of Sammy’s needs a favour, and would I and my loyal team of covert operatives be up for the job? The pay is 80,000 Nuyen + expenses, but its a favour for a friend so I told Slacker I don’t mind slumming it this once.

So anyway, I clocked out the bastard who took my gun..I mean I said goodbye to my secretary, walked out the office and hailed a cab.

We met at a hangout called Virtuoso and when I got there I saw the team was assembled: they were just waiting for me to turn up and give them instructions. Today we had a new recruit, this Squirrel name of BANE. Now Bane’s sole motivations in life seems to be killing and taking drugs. Sometimes I wonder about the people we take into our employ. Still, we were down a combat mage (our last one got killed storming a Renraku research installation, but i can’t tell you anything about that) so I was gonna give him the benefit of the doubt even if he did look a bit strung out.

POV: TNO

We’re all there physically, Bane, Eclipse, Danny, Sammy and myself. Slacker couldn’t be bothered to even turn up physically, which is probably a blessing on our noses. Slacker explains the job to us, and Sammy expresses how important this job is, and that he knows the pay isn’t much, so he’ll waive his normal 10%.

When Slacker tells us the pay is 10K, we’re all a little impressed, that sort of money will keep us going for a month or so. Then he clarifies that it’s not 10K each, and we’ll be splitting that 5 ways. Needless to say we’re horrified and it takes quite a bit of talking to convince us to take the job.

We all head over to The Paper Fan Taxi headquarters to talk to the owner, our ‘Johnson’, Jonny Lin. The job sounds ok, except for the caveat that we can’t take any lethal actions against his rivals.

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

So anyway, I’m listening to Mozart’s 5th (Napalm Death mix) on my headphones while this Jonny Lin dude outlines the plan. Slacker is our tactical analyst so I leave all the planning and stuff to him. But basically what it came down to was this.

The mission was complex. We had to hit the Blue Dragon Taxi company and disrupt their drug running operation in order to facilitate the drug operations of the Paper Fan Taxi company. I was all for paying their main office a visit with a satchel charge, but Bane wanted to faff around with spirits and stuff so in the end we settled on sniping at their vehicles.

What this team needs is a Han Solo type. Someone who knows what they’re doing and knows how to give orders.

POV:Bane

We need to test the Blue Dragon company’s defence and reactions, and we decided to to it my way, with a random almost senseless attack. I called a Blue Dragon Taxi, Eclipse took a ride, the Gweilo shot out the tire and generally ambushed them, Blue Dragon dispatch a “security” squad in response.
Now we know that BDT have a rapid reaction cybersecurity team, seems a little excessive for a Taxi company, but hey what do I know? Being attacked by foreign mercenaries might be a normal every day hazard in the taxi business.

POV: EXTERNAL

Eclipse goes to peoni palace to talk to dan dan soong about the blue dragons, he explains that they are distributors, sub contracted by the BC’s, but they had to interest to protect them, if they were defeated, the BC’s would just subcontract to someone else.

POV: Slacker

I’m still at the Paper Fan base, lookin’ at their hardware and thinking it’s gonna take some serious mojo to get that drek workin’ again, when Jonny Lin comes runnin’ in and tells me that there’s been some gunplay at one of his taxis. I speaks to the others; sounds like things are escalatin’ which can’t be good for our biz tonight, ‘though I can’t help but think it’ll make Bane happy if he gets to blow some shit up in revenge. They agree to go an’ look into it.

POV: TNO

Seems like there’s been some gunshots at one of the Paper Fan taxis, so Bane, Danny and myself go out to investigate. We manage to get to the taxi just in time to pull the driver out of the car before it explodes. With police sirens getting close we all fade into the scenery and get out of there.

Things are getting out of control, it feels like we don’t have any time to investigate, and so we have to act, and act right now! Slacker is going to work on their hardware, while Bane and I ride together in a taxi, and Eclipse and Danny ride in another. The plan is if the Blue Dragons attack, we’ll be able to defend these taxis.

I drive while Bane rides shotgun, and he tells me that he’s summoned a spirit to help if we need it.

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

Right, well the fight between Paper fan and Blue Dragon cartels was turning into a full-scale war, complete with decapitations and exploding cabs. I decided we should step in and take some of the heat for them, and so we did: literally. ECLIPSE and I were driving along in our borrowed cab, making like casual drug-runners, when this fuzzmobile comes up behind and starts flashing us. I tell Eclipse keep driving, but she’s anxious to pull over and get arrested. So that is what we do.

They’re shaking us down and I’m thinking anytime soon they’ll find Lucy in the trunk, and then I’ll have to make some kind of move. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t left my gun under the passenger seat. Fortunately they turn out stupid, and use their own stash of illegal BTLs to take us down. Eclipse creates a distraction and gets herself electrocuted. I make short work of the cops, put her body in the car and drive off.
When she came to she noticed that her com-link was gone; I guess it fell off during the fight.

Footnote: must remember, I owe T-NO for a box of shells.

We got back and Bane told us he and T-No have been driving some bullet monkey around doing contracts. Then we find out that Jonny Lin’s assistant has kidnapped Jonny Lin’s wife. For some reason everyone wants to go trash the Blue Dragon office instead of rescuing the lady.

POV: TNO

We get a fare, I’m not that great a driver, so it’s hard to drive and keep my eye on the passenger, but I know Bane’s watching him, which is reassuring. This guy, smartly dressed, with short spiky hair gets out at a building, but asks us to wait. The next thing we know a body lands on the front of the car shocking both bane and myself. The guy’s pulling a gun and popping a few rounds into the now very dead body, and leaping into the car agin. Bane and I both look at each other, trying to decide what to do, but he tells us to drive, and frankly we don’t much care about this unnamed and now dead guy, so we do indeed drive away and get a very nice tip for our ‘trouble’.

POV: Slacker

I’m deep inside the case of the Paper Fan’s main machine when the damn cops turn up, giving me a slithery feeling of dread deep inside my belly. I don’t like cops, been livin’ on the streets for too long for me to see them as anything but jumped-up bullies addicted to the feeling of authority. I play it cool, extricatin’ myself from the guts of the Paper Fan machine and tryin’ to be polite to the cops without lettin’ my nerve show. I tell ‘em I’m just a contractor workin’ on the hardware, don’t know nothin’ about the various drek goin’ down.

The bastards scan my ID; do they have any idea how much it costs me every time they do that? I gotta get a new ID now just in case the drek hits the fan an’ I go on record as being wanted by the fucking cops.

Anyways, they take all of the Paper Fan’s hardware, leaving me high and dry and twiddling my thumbs a bit while the gun monkeys and Bane are out doin’ the dangerous shit. I call Sammy and ask him to gets new ID chips for me, Eclipse and Danny, seein’ as we’ve all been made by the cops, then I settle down and start to think about hackin’ the Blue Dragons’ mainframe.

POV: EXTERNAL

eclipse calls cop contact and arranges a meet

POV: BANE

I love grenades, I like the feel of all that explosive force contained in such a small package, I like the fact that all that stands between them and a wrenching chaos of scorched flesh and shattered and scattered limbs is a tiny fragile pin. One simple tug and Booom, grenades are the ultimate metaphor for life, mine at least.

POV: TNO

We’re back driving again, amused over the whole incident with that hit guy, then suddenly a concrete block hits the car and we skid to a halt. We see some guy ducking back into an alley way and running off, but before I can go after him Bane grabs my arm and asks if I have any grenades. I pull out one of the few frag grenades I have, and hand it over. The next thing i know, some spirit is manifesting outside of the car, Bane hands it the grenade and sends it off. There’s then a loud explosion down the alley way as the guy who had stopped to wait for us gets blown to smithereens. I look at Bane, seeing him in a new light. What a ruthlessly effective guy he is!

We’re pretty well pissed off at this point, and we head over to The Blue Dragon Taxi HQ and observe what’s going on. Bane tells me to look after his body, then he slumps as he goes into astral space. I must admit, I do envy those with a fuller access to magic than myself. Bane comes back a while after, and tells me he’s overheard a conversation between Lee Chung and a dirty cop. The upshot is pretty much that the cop is taking backhanders, and in exchange helping the Blue Dragons to set up the Paper Fan taxi drivers to force them out of business.

POV: BANE

I like Spirits, I like the fact once you’ve broken them to your will they have to do any drekking thing you tell them. They are relentless remorseless and there service is a symbol of a mages dominance over the world. I especially like the look on faces of dumb punks when they realise that all there precious metal and meat can’t stand against a being of raw power made manifest.

Spirits with grenades, now that entertainment, for me at least, if not that dumb punk in the ally who threw a rock at me.

POV: Slacker

Wei Tun, a driver for the Paper Fans, interrupts my concentration and tells me that he needs ta meet me urgently. I’m suspicious; sounds like the setup for some kind of trap to me. I tell ‘im I’ll try and get there, then hang up. I do some research and find out the guy’s a family man. Immediate thought is that his family is being held captive, threatened. I know for a fact there’s no way I’m turning up to a street on my own for a meetin’ with this guy; it stinks worse than a caseload of rancid fishguts. Before we go out to the meet we do swing by the guy’s house and Bane does his mojo to look inside. Looks like his family’s all safe, so if it is a trap he’s bein’ manipulated some other way.

POV: TNO

We briefly contemplate attacking the cop as he leaves the Blue Dragon lot, but there’s another two cops in the car waiting for him, so we decide not to, and instead we bug out of there. We’re driving around, wondering what to do when suddenly a cop car pulls in behind us and starts indicating we should pull over. I’m in torn between trying to lose them, and stopping for a fight, but Bane makes up my mind for me, he tells me to drive, and drive I do. The next thing I know the cop car is spinning out of control, and Bane has a smug expression on his face. Yep, gotta be envious of that fuller access to magic. Guessing the cops are on the look out for this taxi, we find a quiet place to park up, and get the hell away from it.

POV:Bane

High speed chase + Bound Spirit with Accident power = Bad Time for fools who are stupid enough to chase me.

POV: TNO

We all meet up again at The Paper Fan Taxi offices, and discuss where we go form here. Everything seems to be spiralling out of control. Slacker tells us about the meeting requested by the driver Wei Tun, and expecting a trap we turn up cautiously. Bane approaches the taxi where we can see a cooling body, and when he opens the door Wei Tun’s head rolls out. He’s dead. It looks like the Blue Dragons are escalating things, and now that things are starting to get lethal, we feel as if we’re back to playing on turf we understand.

Another driver calls Slacker, this time there’s a large meeting of all the drivers back at the offices, and they want us there so we can plan together what our next actions will be. We suspect it might be another trap, so once again we plan to turn up cautiously except for Eclipse who heads elsewhere, muttering something about needing to talk to a contact. When we arrive, there are signs of a fight having taken place, and Jonny Lin’s wife, Mei, is missing. A call comes through to Jonny Lin’s phone saying that if he ever wants to see Mei alive, he has to sign over the taxi company to the Blue Dragons.

Outraged, we all pretty much decide that we have to hit the Blue Dragons, and hit them hard! And one of Jonny Lin’s friends, an Ork, who owns a small percentage of the company, offers us an extra 6K of his own cred if we hit Blue Dragons tonight. The Ork knows a place where Jonny and the rest can hide out while we lay the smack down on the Blue Dragons, so he takes them there as we tool up.

We all head on over the the Blue Dragon’s offices, and then Bane sends one of his spirits to attack a Blue Dragon taxi on the other side of town. We watch as the Blue Dragon security team leave the office in a rush, and when they’re clear, we cut through the back fence and head on in. Bane summons up a fire elemental and burns his way in through a door, setting off fire alarms that send everyone into a panic. We find the office with Lee Chung in it, and proceed to interrogate him. The result is that he’s convinced The Paper Fan Taxi are distributing ‘product’ but that he hasn’t had any of our people killed, nor kidnapped Mei. One by one we all start to arrive at the thought that this Ork at the Paper Fan might actually be distributing without Jonny Lin knowing, and that he might be using us to drive his rivals, the Blue Dragons, out of business.

We warn the Blue Dragon boss to leave Paper Fan alone, and tell him we’ll stop this little war, and resolve it. Then Bane has his fire elemental burn its way through another door, and we leave.

POV:BANE

We decided to hit Lee Chung’s office the subtle way, which is to say lots of collateral damage, unsubtle gratuitous threats, followed by more collateral damage on the way out. But building still intact + Zero body count = Subtle in my opinion. From the info we squeezed from Jonny Lin it looks like that orc bastard at the Paper Fan Taxi company was using us. Time I thought, to be unsubtle.

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

So we walk into Jonny Lin’s office. Lee Chung runs the Blue Dragon operation. We had enough firepower to level a third world country, but unfortunately no one tried to stop us. Bane started making speeches and I helped myself to the mini bar. Finally he got to the point, and cut a deal with Lee Chung to call off the heat, in return for us cleaning this whole mess up in-house. So finally we went off to rescue the lady.

POV: Slacker

And it’s about then that I finally get my back door into the Blue Dragon mainframe, only to discover that the bad guy was one of the Paper Fan drekkers all along. Graaah! Why is it that every time I get into a system, either somethin’ happens to cut off my access or events have moved on and the whole thing was pointless? Oh well, time to make the best out of a bad situation; I write myself a permanent admin account that I can use in the future and check out their records as there might be somethin’ useful there. Maybe I can get free taxi rides outta it or something. With the Paper Fan company havin’ agreed to give us free rides forever as part of our payment, that means I should be able to get around easy from now on. Still, I’m pissed, and itchin’ to shoot someone when we get to a confrontation.

POV: TNO

We all agree that this Ork is the one causing all the mayhem, and that we need to take him down. We arrive at the place he was going to hide the others out in, and Bane goes astral and scouts the place for us. Bane returns to tell us that he’s found Mei and Jonny both tied up in a room, being watched over by the Ork. That pretty much seals it for us, there’s no no doubt at all in our minds that we need to take this Ork down, and deliver him to the Blue Dragons to meet our end of the deal we struck with them.

It’s been a long night, and not having eaten before I left home I’m starting to feel a little uneasy on the stomach. As we’re crossing a narrow bridge over a canal I start to feel a little dizzy, which isn’t helped by Bane suddenly casting some telekinesis spell on me and flinging me in to the air and shaking me like a rag doll. The only reason I’m not throwing up my dinner is because I haven’t had any yet! He puts me down on the other side of the water, and there’s a bit of a stand off as he degenerates once more into one of his drug fuelled hallucinogenic rants about me being some sort of ghoul, or zombie, or a cat. Yeah, a cat! That’s a new one. But I’m not particularly in the mood for this, we’ve got a job that needs doing.

Maybe it’s the anger, but my upset stomach is forgotten, and we sneak into the building to perform Orkish Takedown!

Things go well at first, we sneak right up to the doors without being heard, then we smash down the door and cover everyone with guns shouting for them to surrender. It looks like they’re going to, then the Ork pulls a monofilament whip. We’re considering a non-lethal way to take him down when Danny opens up full-auto and blows both of the Ork’s legs clean off.

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

Half way through the op T-No went all funny in the head and Bane said she was turning into a Crocus. Ignoring that, we blew our way into the building. There were three hostiles and two friendlies inside. One of the hostiles got trapped under the door, and the other two saw Lucy and decided to play nice. Then Bane came in through the window, and they used the distraction to make a move, so Lucy and I cut them down.

POV: Slacker

Danny Boy uses some kind of det-foam to blow the door off its hinges so he and the others can rush in. I’m in the second wave of attack and stomp over the door, which has some goon underneath it. I take out my bad mood on the guy underneath, capping him one in the head. The way his brains splat out the back of his skull in a wet blotch of pink and red while his eyes roll up in his head really brightens my day.

POV: TNO

There’s a moment of absolute silence, with just the echo of gunfire rattling in our brains. There in front of us, the Ork is swiftly dying. And we were supposed to hand him over alive.

Bane things quickly, and does some magic that turns the Ork into this solid gel type of substance, then we pack him in a box and look around. Bane’s eyes go wide and bright. The room is packed with boxes and boxes of drugs. He grabs some boxes, and we rescue everyone, and bug out before cops come to hear what the gunfire was.

Impressed with ourselves, we turn up at the Blue Dragon’s once more, and hand over the box, and explain that he’ll need to be healed pretty damn fast once Bane stops sustaining the goo spell. Just to make this whole thing worse, it turns out that Dan Dan Soong is there at the exchange, thus confirming what we first thought, that these Blue Dragons were distributing for the Black Chrysanthemums!

Still, we end the evening having made 5K nuyen each. Not bad for a night’s work.

POV:Bane

Rescue/revenge plan went something like this,

Boom, Thump Arrgh, Zzzap, Crunch, Dak Dak Dak Dak Dak.

My kind of plan. We wasted the bad guys (by bad guys I mean of course rival criminals) Murphy proved even more indiscriminately violent than myself….I take that as a challenge. There was a whole fricking warehouse of BTL’s and drugs and shit and I got to help my self! Best of all I got to hand that ork over to the BC’s as a pile of goo in a box. The look on Dan Dan Soong’s face was priceless.

MURPHY’S GUIDE TO SHADOWRUNNING

We rescued Jonny Lin and his wife (but she was a dwarf so no action there) and went to turn the assistant into the Blue Dragons. We also discovered a large stash of illegal narcotics, which Bane and I will sell for a tidy profit. Turns out Blue Dragon was running BTLs for the Black Crysanthymums and T-No’s friend Dan-Dan-Sung.

We went for a post-combat beer and Bane and T-No got into a fight. Though I wasn’t paying any attention on account of this hot chick at the bar I was hitting on. But I’ll tell you about that in the NEXT EPISODE.

So once again, Daniel Murphy and his faithful side-kicks rescue the fair maiden, and defeat the forces of darkness with superior firepower.

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