About Add Post Articles Fiction News Reviews

Shadowrun Saturday: Little Trouble in Big China

By Azrael, Skimble, & Joe

Game Date: Thursday 6th March 2070

Prelude

On the tenth floor of an office block, a worried man looks down at the body on his floor. He reaches down and grabs the ankle and starts pulling it further into the room, closing the office door behind him after a quick glance to confirm no one is looking. He drags the woman out of immediate view from the office door, looks down one last time at her blood-matted hair, and shakes his head.

Locking the office door behind him, and leaving the door to the reception area open he leaves, heading for an urgent meeting with his friend Dan Dan Soong.

Cast of Players

  • Slacker
  • TNO
  • Eclipse
  • Bane

POV: TNO

Thursday 6th March 2070 : 11.32am- 11.33am

The phone rings… not my normal phone… but that phone.. the phone that either means one of my criminal friends is inviting me to the pub, or there’s a job going down.

I look at the caller ID, it’s Slacker – I’m not sure I can even visualise anyone arranging a job through him, so he better not be trying to ask me for a date.

POV: Slacker

Thursday 6th March 2070 : 11.32am – 11.47am

That TNO is a snooty Elf-bitch, but when Sammy Lee contacted me about a job I figured she might be useful to have along. She does seem to know how to handle a gun, even if she does ooze this constant sense of disgust and loathing at the fact she has to hang around with lowlifes like me.

Anyway, I think secretly she’s into the grungy type; she’d better not ask me for a date tho’, ’cause I’m not into skanky hos like her. Gimme a woman my height any day.

POV: TNO

Thursday 6th March 2070 : 11.33am – Friday 7th March 2070: 14.27pm

I’m not in that good a mood, I’ve been searching every day for the past week or so, and haven’t found any leads on my real father. I need to unwind. No, I’m not thinking about going out on a date with Slacker… I said unwind… not unhinge! But I will enjoy him asking me out, just so I can consider it, raise his hopes, and then crush his pathetic expectations. I’m already thinking of the cruellest put-downs when I answer the call.

He says there’s a job going down, arranged by Sammy. Oh well… I guess a job might provide the opportunity to unwind that I need.

The meet is at a club called Virtuoso, tonight at 10pm. It’s an interesting place, you can turn up in person, or jack in from home and attend in VR and get your body projected as an ARO overlay for other clubbers to see you. I’ve been to that sort of place before, it can be fun – though I wouldn’t have picked it as a place for a meet with a Johnson.

I’m still on the line with Slacker, talking about the meet when he has the nerve to take another call and put me on a conference call. It’s Bane, I remember him from a job I once did, I didn’t know that he knew Slacker! It’ll be good to see Bane again, though I’m still annoyed Slacker attached the call without even asking.

My call waiting light flashes, so I hang up on Slacker and answer the next call. It’s Eclipse, she wants to meet up, she has a quick job available. On my way to meet her, I call up Slacker and ask if he wants Eclipse along for the job Sammy has arranged, he agrees that it would be a good idea, so I pitch it to her when I arrive at Sisko’s.

Eclipse is up for the job, but says she has another short job we could do before we go to the meet this evening, some office that the owner wants torched for insurance purposes. It seems like an easy job, 3K to split between two is sweet. Easy jobs make me nervous, and when she says it’s been arranged through Dan Dan Soong of the BCs I feel my spine tingling.

That is so a set up! I tell her. A setup as plain as… well… as plain as her fairly ordinary face in comparison to my own striking beauty. She wants to go ahead with it anyway, so I take up a look-out position on the other side of the street while she goes in with a can of petrol.

A couple of cops turn up, and head right to the building, she must have tripped a silent alarm, ’cause when I call her she thinks everything is OK. I’m worried about anyone overhearing me, so I try to act normal, emphasising the words I want her to pay attention to, the words ‘two’ and ‘upstairs’. I hope she gets my meaning, that she has two hostiles coming upstairs. A few minutes later she’s come down the fire-escape, and we get the hell out of there. She’s rather pale, I just don’t think she’s cut out for this sort of life, she can’t handle the simplest of tasks without looking like she’s gonna black out.

We head to a matrix café, and plug ourselves in, heading virtually to the meet with the Johnson. The pay that the Johnson is offering seems woefully inadequate for the mission. He wants us to break into a highly secure medical cloning facility, track down a specific clone and inject it with the contents of a syringe, then to track down the tissue sample belonging to the same patient and destroy it. Sure he’s offering a bonus for a quiet job, but it isn’t enough for such a complicated job. We’re lucky Eclipse is on hand, the Johnson doesn’t want to budge on his payment, but she manages to bump him up to a more reasonable figure. He gives us all the data we’ll need for the job, including details on a secure locker where we can pick up the syringe.

We all head off, and on the way out of the matrix café Eclipse confides in me that during the arson, she discovered a dead body of a woman. That the arson was probably to cover up any evidence. No wonder she’s been a little jumpy. I’m surprised at the specifics, but not surprised that she has been once again lied to and used by the BCs, I tell her as much, but she’s not comfortable hearing it.

We all meet up the next day to plan the operation, Eclipse bringing us the information that there’s a Knight Errant base just a few streets away that houses several units of SWAT and high-threat response teams. It looks like we’ll have even more reason to make it as quiet a job as possible.

POV: Bane

Thursday 6th March 2070 : 11.32am – Sunday 9th March 2070: 22.35pm

A simple job for easy money, that’s what Sammy Lee had told Slacker. Laugh? I almost killed someone. But money was short and Stim prices were up. I had worked with them all before; that dwarf Slacker, a fellow elf TNO and the team’s resident monkey Eclipse, who am sure was a technomancer last time I checked. But then my grip on these things can be a little fuzzy. Stims help, or at least they take the edge off the BTLs . When we met, Eclipse looked like shit, TNO was treating her with a patronising “I told you so” attitude; private Biz, I decided, not my concern and as for Slacker, well Slacker was his usual disgusting self, fortunately his hacking skill appears to be inversely proportional to his personal hygiene so I let it slide.

The Johnson wanted to meet at some quasi-virtual nightclub whose name was both irrelevant and forgettable. Most of the team went in virtual I went in meat, I needed a drink, a real drink,to help clear my head of residue of all those BTLS and Stims. The meet went as smooth as these things can go, he tried to pay peanuts but Eclipse haggled him up to something worth our time. He even offered a bonus if we could do the run discretely with no trace of our presence. I nearly bust a gut trying to keep myself from laughing in his face and I mentally wrote off the bonus then and there. We took the job and at the Johnson’s direction collected a file full of what was hopefully relevant data. The run was complex: Infiltrate a Medicare facility on a specific night, contaminate a specific a batch of clone tissue with a compound supplied by the Johnson, then destroy a specific tissue sample kept in the same facility. We had the schematics and a staff list. So we had to come up with a plan.

  • Problem number 1: Facility was on The Island so max security, no guns in public I.D required etc. etc. etc. A pain for me, and a real pain for those in the team that relied on guns and sharp things for killing.
  • Problem number 2: There was a Knight Errant Station right next to the facility and no ordinary Pigfarm, it was full of SWAT and HTR teams.
  • Problem number 3: I hate planning, I really, really hate planning and I haven’t touched a Stim or BTL since taking the job so sitting there I’m getting this monster headache and the urge to just burn something up for kicks.

My suggestions that we distract the police by either hacking the local doughnut palace so they have a sale, or starting a massive fire/riot on the far side of The Island are ignored, probably just as well. The others pore over maps, discuss contacts – all that crap – and come up with a plan, finally!

It’s actually a crappy plan, literally: We are smuggled into the sewers with the intent of tackling the target from “below”. At least the environment makes the smell from Slacker unnoticeable. We find the usual sewer crap, no pun intended; excrement, rats, corpses and Ghouls….

The Ghouls provide some difficulty. The dammed Morlocks have got a freaking shaman with them and demanded payment for crossing their turf. A group decision (i.e one that I didn’t make) is made to pay the scavangers off, 500 freaking Nuyen!

Still we get to the target although we notice the friggen Morlocks are tailing us but decide to ignore it. Slacker does his thing and we break into the medicare basement. With him tracking the staff we slip in easy and get the job done, only when the lights go out we discover the Morlocks are attacking the building as well! Only for them its not a pay-day but an all you can eat gourmet buffet.

They start overrunning the building killing people. We realise that if they eat the corpse, err Clone we did a number on, pay-day is going down there digestive tract with it. Besides I can’t stomach the idea of letting people get eaten. I urge a frontal assault on the Ghouls but before we can decide on a course of action the whole frakking Ghoul attack force burst in on us… all of them… bunched reeeal close together… so I flash fry every stinking nerve cell in their ugly ghoul bodies with one hellacious manaball. I sometimes don’t understand why I bother with all that other crap when magic is so frakking awesome, then the drain hits and I remember.

To work off my aggro I put a few bullets in the ghoul corpses in the hopes that a bored coroner (and be honest, who is going to look too closely at a Ghoul corpse?) will write them off as security guard kills and not suspect a mage. I also recover the 500 Nuyen from the remains of their Shaman. Knight Errant show up and we decide to get going while its good, we [ TNO ] have to cap one security type on the way out and we dump his corpse in the sewer, so they hopefully write him off as a ghoul victim.

We go home, we get paid , even the bonus! Medicare stocks drop, some Triad guy dies of organ failure: See, a happy ending.

POV: TNO

Saturday 8th March 2070:10:49pm – Sunday 9th march 2070: 01.36am

We decide to go in through the sewers… and with all that Knight Errant so close by, we need weapons. Eclipse arranges for us to be delivered to, and picked up from The Island via some friends she knows, we’ll be delivered to a sewer entrance with whatever weapons we want. The plan is to then travel through the sewers, reach the medicare facility, which has a convenient entrance via the sewers, and the job should unfold seamlessly from there using Slacker’s ‘leet hacking skills.

Any plan that includes a reliance on Slacker has so got to be doomed to failure, but it’s almost the end of the month and I’m desperate to keep cash flow in the positive to afford next month’s rent without needing to move to some shit hole.

The evening of the job, everything goes smoothly, and we reach the sewers without any problems. We move slowly and carefully through the sewers, and things start getting just a little bit uncomfortable. There’s something moving ahead of us, we hear a splash in the distance, and not long after we see an incomplete corpse floating by. Perhaps this is just how the cloning facility deals with leftovers?

A little further on we’re stopped by what looks like some filthy half-dead creature. Bane calls it a Morlock… the name seems to fit it well. It demands payment to travel in its sewers. We don’t know how many of them there are, we could be surrounded, so we end up paying despite our reluctance.

We make it to the medicare hatch, and scout around. There’s nothing suspicious other than some partially damaged brickwork a little further along the tunnel, so without any further delay Slacker hacks the door and we get in, making sure to close and lock the door behind us.

Slacker seems to actually be quite useful, he hacks into the cameras and guides us through the building keeping us away from any guards. Next thing I know, the lights are out, some sort of total system failure. We think the Ghoulish Morlocks have broken in from the sewers and are rampaging through the building. We’re running around trying to avoid them, and security, and Slacker’s moaning about the computer system being offline and nothing he can do. Sheesh… when the going starts getting gritty, Slacker becomes pretty useless, nothing more than a sack of shit slowing us down. From the sounds of shooting and shouting, Knight Errant are already in the building, sounds like pitched battles taking place down every other corridor.

POV: Slacker

Sunday 9th March 2070:01.05am – 02.06am

So yeah, anyway, the group was totally reliant on my hacking skillz when we got to the place. I bypassed the maglock on the sewer-entrance to the medical facility (and what kind of moron puts a service hatch big enough for people to get thru in the internal wall of a chumming medical facility, anyway?) by using a sweet routine I hacked together to bypass the standard account protocols.

Once we’re in the sweet, sweet fun really begins. This is why I hack, dudez, that sweet feeling of power as every subsystem submits to my command, like a harem of hot chicks that rush to do my every bidding, that want to treat me right. Whoo boy. I control the elevators, the doors, the databases, the internal security cameras and systems. It was the work of a few seconds to loop camera feeds so nobody’d know we were there. Another couple of seconds to cross-reference the sample number we’d been given with the tissue storage database and to send a request for the auto-manipulators to grab the right sample ready for someone to go get it in their meat bod.

And then, just as I was getting into it, I was cock-blocked by fucking ghouls, who burst into the power subsystem maintenance room and blew all the juice. That jacked me out and left me stranded in an area of no signal.

That always makes me freaky: To go from the God in the machine to a runty dwarf who hates physical danger. Fuck.

I thought I might actually have to use my gun (good time I’ve spent so long practising on rats), but Bane took out the biggest group of marauding ghouls with magic, and we managed to make a pretty fast getaway.

POV: TNO

Sunday 9th March 2070:01.36am – 02.06am

We manage to find the right clone to inject, and the tissue sample to destroy, and it’s time to get the hell out of dodge. A security guard steps out in front of me, and without stopping I raise my shotgun and give him both barrels. We’re heading for the exit, when right in front of us, the door we want bursts open and about ten of the ghouls pile on through and look at us like we’re tasty snacks.

I start lifting my gun again, they ain’t taking me without a pretty damn serious fight. The next thing I know, they’re all exploding in front of me, and at my side, Bane’s face is contorting as nearly every blood vessel in his face seems to blow. He’s got an insane look in his eyes and grabs a gun from a dead security guard, and starts shooting wildly into every corpse he can find. It takes us a few moments to gather our wits, except for Slacker of course who doesn’t have any, and Eclipse who looks like she’s about to projectile vomit all over the place like in that trid film Exorcist Ten.

We start running, backtracking through the sewers, praying to anything that might answer for the pick-up team to be waiting where we expect them, and they are, blessed relief! We pile into the boats and speed for the mainland, adrenalin still pumping through our systems.

Another day, another nuyen… any one you walk away from… and all the rest of those trite sayings, whatever! I’m still breathing, and still have the cred to keep the roof over my head, right now that’s enough. That’s what passes for my life now, and as bad as it gets, it could be so much worse.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.