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Shadowrun Saturday: Special Delivery for Mr Priam

By Azrael

Date: Wednesday 05.02.2070

Prelude

A mysterious Fixer known only as Mr Priam contacts Sammy Lee through his contacts in the Red Dragon Triad.  Mr Priam wants a groups of Shadowrunners to break into the Accio Inc facility on Hong Kong island and steal the data on their new budget range Comm Link the Accio Apollo.  The only problem is, Mr Priam doesn’t want there to be any trace that the file was stolen…

Is Sammy Lee’s newly formed team up to the task?  Can they cope with running on Hong Kong Island?  Will they invoke the power of 3… tune in and find out!

Cast of Players

  • Eclipse
  • JD
  • Slacker
  • Danny
  • Carrera
  • Fu
  • TNO

Events by TNO

Wednesday 5th February 2070

I’d been out all night again. Yet another late night trawling Kowloon bars trying to find anyone who could ID the man in the picture. I don’t know if people just clam up around me, not wanting to talk, or if they really don’t know the man. Admittedly the picture’s a decade or so old…. a bit grainy and low res, but heck, the face is clear enough for anyone who knew him to recognise, I’ve got to get a hit one of these days! I collapse into bed… and for just this moment I don’t care that I’m living in a shit hole, I close my eyes and seek peaceful oblivion for just a few hours.

ring ring …….  ring ring

My hand goes to the gun under my pillow as my body jerks awake, I fumble the gun and almost blow my own brains out – how the hell they manage it in the trids, I don’t know.

I leave the gun on the floor where it fell, it’s just the damn telecom.

“What is it?” I ask, eyes blinking to try and focus on the familiar face filling the screen.

It’s Sammy Lee. He’s my fixer – he finds me jobs, and for some reason these jobs seem to only become available at ungodly hours when decent people should be sleeping.

“Hey Tino, I’ve got a job for you” says the smug midget face. I’ve got to admit, for a dwarf, he’s not too bad, but a few extra feet would certainly improve him.

I’ve seen this in trids…. the hero has to make sure people call them by the right name, else they end up getting side-lined and taken advantage of. Give someone an inch, and they’ll take a mile. Well I guess in a dwarf’s case it’s give them a millimetre and they’ll take a centimetre. Still…. I’ve got to keep myself in the game: “It’s T…. N…. O…. enunciate!!” I say, trying to sound tough and mean, though it ends up sounding dazed and sleepy. “What is it?”

“Meet me at the Jang Tu Ku” he says, then terminates the connection.

I close my eyes and sigh. Another job means less time trying to find my dad, which means more time stuck in this shit hole. But another job means being able to afford this shit hole, and keeping me out of the sort of slums my new colleagues seem to enjoy hanging out in.

“Computer, plot a route to Jang Tu Ku, download map” I call out. I’m greeted with only a low electric whine as the telecom awaits manual input – cheap crap.

I find the place, eventually, it’s a floating bar at the Log Jam. It sounds kinda cool in principle, boat after boat lashed to each other until it becomes a floating rocking suburb. In practice, it’s a slum shanty town floating and rocking on a massive open sewer.

When I arrive, Sammy’s there with Slacker and three others I don’t know. One of them is Slacker’s brother – Fu, another a girl that calls herself Eclipse, and a guy called JD. I find out Eclipse is Rez’s sister, so she can’t be that bad, I kinda took a liking to Rez.

After basic introductions, Sammy describes the job, it’s a 3-7 day thing. We’re to meet the Johnson, his name is Mr Priam, downtown at the Victoria Centre – a 100 storey tower block. He wants to see us at the Coffee Constitutional Monarchy in 12-G level 10. We don’t like much the idea of the meet being on the island, all that security means we’ll be unarmed. But it seems that the Johnson wants us to prove we can operate under such restrictions, as the job will require subtlety. I look around the group and my eyes fall on Slacker. Sure, subtlety’s gonna be easy for me, but no-one is going to think a greasy slum dweller like that belongs in such a place. We’re screwed before we even begin!

Before we arrive for the meet, we investigate the Victoria Centre a little. The first 15 floors make up the busiest shopping centre in Hong Kong – I’ve been there loads of times, I know the place well. The next 35 floors are offices, and the top 50 belong to HKBC a 2nd tier corp. I didn’t know that – I’d never looked beyond the malls before. Eclipse has done some investigating into Mr Priam, seems he’s got himself a reputation for electronic jobs, lots of data theft.

Thursday 6th

We all make our way there in groups, I’m with Eclipse in her car, it’s not bad. She makes it clear to me that she wants to be the spokesperson to negotiate the job. She seems quite confident; maybe she knows this biz better than I do, so I’m happy to let her take front for the meet.

We arrive in time to get the hell out of the way when Slacker and his brother pull up on motorbikes looking every bit as much as the street scum they are. I’m surprised they manage to even get into the place, I guess standards have slipped somewhat. When we get to level 10, I go ahead, and Eclipse hangs back, case of last minute nerves perhaps? She says she needs to check something out. By the time she turns up Priam’s already half explained the job.

Priam turned up with some heavies, naming them as Hector and Paris. A pathetic pair of names, I ask him jokingly if they’re brothers, he gives me a strange look and says that they aren’t. I guess he’s just a fan of the classics, I put it out of mind and settle down to business.

Ascio Inc have their HQ in the Victoria Centre building, they deal in budget electronics. Ascio are about to release a new model commlink. Something fairly low spec, but ultra cheap, aiming at the disposable market. They’re about 3-6 months away from release, and Priam wants us to break into their offices and steal the techspecs. They’re on level 37, just upstairs from us, and it explains in part why Priam wanted the meet going down here. He gives us a map and details of the security, voice scanners, biometrics, motion detectors, but no on-site security guards, instead sub-contracting out to building security. He offers us 20K with a standard 10% upfront – and tells us he knows a possible way in we could use. There’s even a 10K bonus if it all goes down without anyone ever finding out.

The team are all about to accept the payment, but I try to slow Priam down, I’m waiting for Eclipse, where the hell has she gotten to? She finally turns up, in just the nick of time, breezing in and taking over the matter of payment. We all sit spellbound as she describes our skills, the requirements of the job, the way we’ll go about it professionally, I have to look around the team just to make sure the scum haven’t all been replaced with slick professionals from some trid show, but no, Slacker’s still there, short legs not even reaching the floor as he perches on his chair and leans forward giving us all way too good a look at the spots covering his face.

She must have impressed Priam, as he ups the payment to 35K total, with 7K upfront, and a 15K bonus. He then tells us that the way in that he’s got involves a guy called Tony Lun Qin, a programmer for Ascio. He designs OSs, he’s new, young, well paid, and weak of morals. He often frequents the Peoni Palace – where we could intercept him. I try to hide my wince at the mention of that place – since the last time I was there, I never wanted to go anywhere near it again.

We take the job, thanking Priam, and then relocating to discuss the job. We head back to Kowloon, where Sammy has us join up with more team members. It’s good to see Danny and Carerra again, especially the latter, she’s useful! We discuss how the job’s going to go down. We’re taking the idea of disguising JD as Tony – he says he can do it, all we need to do is get voice and finger prints, and his commlink. Getting these however sparks heated debate. Slacker gets a freaky look on his face as he starts screaming how we need to kill Tony, or kill a hooker, but we should kill someone! I don’t know who it was who mentioned the sheep and dodgy photos of it and Tony… sounds like a Slacker sort of thing to me. I can see why he has no social skills, his brother Fu just sits there and lets him rant and spaz out – doesn’t even try to sort him out.

Eclipse sounds like she has some good ideas, but I don’t get to hear them over everyone else’s shouting, but finally we decide we’ll follow Tony, then in a day or so when he’s at the Peoni Palace, we’ll have someone drug him, so he’ll just be asleep as we get all it is that we need. In and out of Ascio before anyone knows better, hot knife through butter, easy peasy, cake walk.

JD, Carerra and Danny pull Tony trailing duty – he’s got himself a swanky car. While watching him, JD’s taking lots of pictures, trying to learn mannerisms and attitude – seems like a man who knows his stuff when it comes to disguise and infiltration.

For some reason, I get drafted into Peoni Palace visiting with Eclipse. Still, it’s been over a week since I was here last, and I hold a menu up in front of my face, no one’ll recognise me, just another face in the crowd.

I can’t believe it, Eclipse knows Dan Dan Soong, he comes right on over and starts chatting to her. Low profile time, reading the small print on the menu. I can’t believe she consorts with the Black Chrysanthemums, has she got no values? And damn the man, he recognises me and tries to make chit-chat. I try a few witty put downs, but he takes it for flirting or something, fool doesn’t hear the distaste in my tone. Then again I guess I didn’t expect to credit him with much intelligence.

Ziyi Zhang comes over, and Eclipse asks her if she can get us a room with Tony next time he visits. Eclipse is a good talker, I’ll giver her that, but she doesn’t know when to stop, giving out way too much info, pretty much giving away the job. Still, Ziyi doesn’t seem bothered, and says she has a girl who can help out, she’ll get the voice print, and drug Tony for us – all for 500 nuyen – sweet! I like cheap subcontractors! Then right there, right when we’re discussing him, Tony comes in, followed by Carrera and JD, and stays all night til 1am when he returns to his office. Keeping such odd hours will help us, no-one will question our copycat going in after hours.

Friday 7th

We still have teams following Tony, we want to know where he is at all times, and that evening when he visits the Peoni Palace our plans all kick in, and he’s rendered unconscious. JD starts running his voice print through some device, and taking fingerprints. His clothes have already been removed, now that’s service for you. JD takes a facial scan, while Slacker grabs the commlink.

The little spotty creature spends positively ages staring at the commlink, with that look of concentration on his face that said he was either constipated, or trying to hack the thing. It seems to take him longer than even he thought it would, stopping half way as if about to give up completely, then stimming himself and starting over. But finally he gets in and hands it over to JD saying it’s ready to use. JD notices that Tony has some head-ware memory, while he’s scanning him, and Slacker takes a look to find that it’s all well and truly wiped clean.

Even though it’s only JD going into the Ascio offices, everyone else goes to the Victoria Centre to provide moral support. After a few hours, JD meets us, a smug look on his face. Mission accomplished… despite an early scare he tells us about, as a guard called him back, worrying him, until it turned out it was just this pen he’d dropped. We laugh, pre-mission nerves all gone now, loosening up. We look at the gold pen, engraved with ”A. L. Clesio” – means nothing to us, and we put it out of mind. He tells Slacker that the pre-compiled sprite he gave JD worked a treat, deleting any inappropriate accessing records.

JD hands over the file and we all head to our respective homes agreeing to meet the next day.

Saturday 7th

We all meet up again in Kowloon, Slacker takes a quick scan of the file, it’s encrypted, but he decrypts it easily and confirms that it’s the right stuff.

We contact Mr Priam, and meet up with him in a high class part of Kowloon.

We’re a bit paranoid at everything going so well, so we don’t all turn up to the meet, some of us are outside ready to take out an ambush. But Priam turns up, he’s very impressed, we hand over an original encrypted version of the file, get paid, and get ready to celebrate now that we’re 6.5K each richer.

Sunday 7th

I drag myself back home, another late night trawling bars, though this time just in celebration rather than hunting information. With my head pounding I drop into bed and let out a deep breath, and I’m asleep the moment my head hits the pillow.

ring ring …….  ring ring

THE FUCKING BASTARD!!! How does he KNOW??? With a balled fist I hit the ‘receive’ button, so very tempted to just keep on hitting until the telecom is a pile of twisted burnt components on the floor. It’s Sammy’s little dwarf face – as I expected. He seems worried, and he better be. He must have picked up on my very angry vibe. Good! maybe he’ll stop calling me so damned early!

“They’re dead!” he says.

“Uh… what??” well maybe he’s not worried for calling me too early… and that thought makes me almost angry enough to not realise what he’s said “Who’s dead?”

“Priam and his two body guards. They called for another job, I went around to negotiate details, and the cops were around his car before I got there. Something exploded… they’re dead. Meet me 9am ‘here’” he sends a meet point over the link, and hangs up.

“Bastard, bastard, bastard, bastard, bastard, bastard, bastard!!” I curse, falling over as I try and get back into my shoes. Too goddamned tired for this!
I ring around the team. No way they’re getting any sleep if I’m not. I tell them all about the 9am meet. I ring Danny last, and his paranoia is more awake than mine at this hour, he says I should ring Sammy back to make sure the meet is legit. Good idea!

I ring Sammy back – maybe he’s popped into bed to catch some Zzzs, and I’ll get to wake him up. There’s my first smile of the day. He doesn’t answer. Smile gone. The meet’s got to be a fucking set up! I put my money on the Black Chrysanthemums on general principle!

I ring around the team again, arranging an 8am meet at a place Eclipse knows at the Log Jam to discuss what the hell we’re gonna do. Any chance of a brief snooze has left the apartment, and I follow soon after.

We all meet up, and discuss what the hell might have happened. Slacker has copies of the stolen file, and we think that maybe there’s something in there worth killing for, so he takes a closer look to see if he can find out. He discovers that there’s something embedded in it. Some pay data perhaps, slightly more important than some cheap disposable electronics?

In his mind, a jet black horse with flaming eyes and hooves rears at him. He avoids the first blow, but then rapidly gets trampled by the thing. Of course, all we see is a look of concentration, followed by Slacker dropping to the floor thrashing like a fish out of water with blood bursting from his eyes and ears. It’s a novel look, but it suits him. His brother is fast off the mark, he knows he’s getting ICed, and tries to stop it by the only way he knows, he stamps on his little brother’s commlink until it fries, although by the look of it, it had already started melting down. That’s some nasty black IC! Fu grabs Slacker and races him to a hospital, I guess it’s nice working with family who care more about your life than if some paydata gets trampled. I can’t believe JD was going to try and stop Fu smashing the commlink… going for his gun even… that’s low!

For the time being, that’s Slacker and Fu sidelined, but there’s still the 9am meet to decide on, and ultimately we agree that Eclipse will go in, JD will be there disguised, and Carerra, Danny and myself will be at different spots outside covering the place. Sammy Lee is a no-show. No surprise there! Eclipse leaves out the front, and as I was covering that side, I follow stealthily, deciding to see if she’s picked up a tail. I don’t notice anything, nor does Eclipse, not until it’s too late that is. A Ork swings for her and knocks her down, half dazed. The crown has started screaming, running in all directions at the first sign of violence, some of them get in the line of fire as I draw my gun. I take aim, wait for the right shot, and down goes the Ork in a loud bang.

He must be wearing some good armour, he’s back up again and looks barely injured. Still, Super Ruger Warhawk against an Ork with a fist? Odds in my favour I do believe! He pulls a submachine gun out and starts hosing down in my direction. No fair!! I drop and just about miss getting hit. Then steadying myself I snap off another shot, he goes down again, hard this time. better shot by far, I can see blood! Orks are tough… I guess that’s easy to forget sometimes. He’s up again, and I don’t dodge as fast, suddenly looking up at the sky while my chest explodes with agony. he thinks I’m a gonner, and turns back to Eclipse, who’s tried to crawl off. I drag myself into cover behind a car, and try to line up another shot. I need to make it count, I don’t want to have him shooting back again. I have him in my sights, aiming, and I see his head explode as 30m behind me Danny’s finally turned up and taken an awesome long range shot. Carerra has just reached my position in time to see a car that was screeching in, it revs and starts trying to speed off. All of us pump bullets into it until it crashes, right into a shop-front. I move over to see if Eclipse is ok, everyone else goes to cover the car and any passengers.

There I am, half dead, bleeding badly, and Eclipse is spazzing out about bits of brain all over her shirt, talk about correct perspective – NOT!

Carerra’s grabbed herself a prisoner from the car, and Eclipse and I get taken to a street docs to get patched up. I can hear the interrogation in the back room. JD and Carerra playing bad cop good cop, the guy folds like a cheap suit. He works for a bounty hunter, the Ork – whose name was Zim, hired by Lee Chu Wan electronics. They were tasked with hunting down Eclipse for sabotage.

The details come out slowly, Lee Chu Wan electronics got hit early this morning by some black IC that fried their mainframe and left 5 people dead. In a small leap of logic we guess they got hit by the same thing as Slacker, and that they were the ones who ended up with this stolen file with the embedded trojan horse.

Several of us put the clues together at the same time when trojan horse is mentioned. Priam, king of troy, and his sons Hector and Paris. It’s almost too easy, something isn’t quite right. Speculation flies left right and centre, if we’re going to get Lee Chu Wan off our back, we’ll need to find out what really happened, and find out fast!

If this was a set-up, then maybe Tony wasn’t who we thought he was, we investigate him. Eclipse and I heading to his ‘regular hangout’ the Peoni Palace to see what they know of him, everyone else going to his apartment to break in and search the place.

At ‘chez Tony’ they discover that it was a French accented man who lived there. At which point the name on the pen ‘Clesio’ is remembered. The doorman says he’s had recent visitors looking for him, but he’s gone. The visitors sound as if they resemble Hector and Paris – and they were there at a time ”after” they were supposed to be dead. If they are alive… then Priam must be too. It’s looking more and more like a horrible set-up, and us trapped in the middle.

At the Peoni Palace (how the hell did I end up back here again?), Dan Dan Soong is slime-ing around again, all chittychatty with Eclipse – I really need to give her a talking too! He keeps trying to chat me up, asking me out to dinner, the guy knows class when he sees it, but he’s too dumb to see just how out-classed he is. Eclipse asks him about Tony, shows him a photo, and he says, “Clesio? Oh yeah, I know him!” and things drop into place a little more for us. Eclipse asks if Dan Dan Soong could possibly find out where Clesio currently is, he says he’ll see what we can do, but I’ll owe him one. I correct him, and tell him that ”Eclipse” will owe him one.

The team all get back together again, and pool information. Slacker has researched Ascio, they have two main competitors, Lee Chu Wan, and Tiger Electronics. Also that Priam has been working the scene for a few months building up his reputation – so this is very obviously something that has been set up over many months.

Dan Dan Soong calls Eclipse, he has an address for us, a cheap motel into which Tony/Clesio has booked himself as Brian Atony. We speed there, to find security is non-existent, and after much over-complicating arguing, JD finally breaks in, stuns the guy, and brings him out.

Interrogation part deux happens along the same lines as the previous one. Clesio spills his guts – though not literally, no matter how appealing the thought is.

Clesio ws hired by Priam, and Ascio was in on the masquerade, specifically their CEO – a Greek guy called Theo Haji Ioannou.

Priam got our names just a few days ago from the Black Chrysanthemums. Jonny Lee has recommended us for the job. The bastard… trying to get payback for us nearly blowing his brains out I guess…. well next time, no nearly!

Even after find out how yet again the Black Chrysanthemums tried to fuck us, Eclipse is still harping on about how they can’t be as bad as all that – naive sucker! She’ll realise they’re the devil incarnate, hopefully not when it’s too late!

We need to meet with someone from Lee Chu Wan, and Slacker suggests we do it on the matrix. I suggest Sim World – as it came in useful as a meet place previously. We all attend the meet, except for Fu who’s keeping watch on the outside. During the meet we tell them the whole story, showing them vid footage of Clesio revealing all. We even give over a copy of the stolen file with the trojan removed that Slacker had worked on. Lee C Hu Wan agree to cancel the bounty hunters.

Epilogue

A few days later, Eclipse tells me she got a call from a contact, that Clesio turned up dead in some alley – couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

I’m watching the news, and the story of the day is how Lee Chu Wan and Tiger Electronics have merged, making them the largest budget electronics consumer consortium.

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