SR4: To Live and Die in the Mile-High City

Run 04: Thrash the Body Electric

Ninety-nine problems and a newt is one

The Dirt
A corporate Johnson offers the team a straightforward contract: conduct suitable sabotage operations against a local factory to motivate the owners to sell.

The Catch
The contract specifies that a) no factory employee casualties will be tolerated; b) permanent environmental damage is likewise off-limits; and c) the runners have only one week.

The Run
After getting the details from the Johnson, the group begin reconnoitering their target, Rocky Mountain Dynamics. A cursory data search reveals that the plant in Denver specializes in motors and generators, and that it contracts a smallish company (Cyclops) for security. No job openings, sadly, preventing direct infiltration. Visual surveillance reveals that the area is fenced, monitored, and patrolled; Matrix probing proves difficult given the bifurcated nodes and high-level encryption.

Chewing it over, the runners cobble together a multistage plan to effect the immediate ruination of RMD’s finances. “Operation Stinky Newt” consists of placing time-release canisters of noxious gas inside the facility, raising a political controversy around a fictitious species of endangered amphibians, and having a spirit wreak havoc on the plant’s security equipment. Lowkey, Weasel, and Egg acquire the equipment needed for the gas canisters, while Aleph Null arranges for a skilled fellow hacker to play Mary Hob with the company’s accounting department. The hacker and No Nose set up a disinformation campaign to raise awareness for the poor newts; Lowkey capitalizes on this by encouraging students at U of Denver to take action (succeeding based on a good mixture of environmentalism and racism).

The action begins when Lowkey (disguised as a security guard he previously incapacitated and potentially ruined) ushers the others, acting as a fire maintenance crew, into the facility one evening. One of No Nose’s bug drones surveys the interior of the plant – much more successfully than his first attempt). The canisters are placed throughout the buildings under the supervision of a security guard. Weasel also plants several attuned stones at key locations in the administrative wing. The team manages to extract without incident, after which the ork shaman performs a taxing ritual to bring forth a mighty spirit of beasts, the fearsome Axolotl, that rampages through the designated area.

A devastating sequence of events ravage RMD the next day: a code error in the production line node delays the start of work until a backup can be restored; constant reports of nausea gas leaks make it impossible to keep employees on site; several deliveries do not reach their intended recipients (although several of these do not affect RMD’s bottom line, being as they became Nissan’s property as soon as they left the facility. The Aztechnology shipment, however…); and a crowd of college students demonstrate outside the plant, drawing public attention to the matter. The combined effect of the problems brings about the desired result, as the Bow Mar factory is quickly sold; however, MetalStorm (an Ares subsidiary) is the buyer, which does not seem to please the Johnson. He thanks the runners for their efforts and pays them nonetheless.

The Rest

  • Junkyard Freddie, a fence in the CAS with rumored ties to the Triad, took receipt of a large quantity of motors intended for Nissan. True to his word, he came through with a 30:70 split of the value, which will amount to 18,000Y for the party. He notes that he had to disable several RFID tags in the containers, including some cleverly hidden stealth tags.
  • Mechanic Hans, a contact of No Nose’s, has not been heard from after brokering a deal for some of the engines. Perhaps he got some bad cabbage?
  • Growing speculation in the shadow community pins the hit on RMD as a Void/Hammerjack operation based on comments made in usenet groups and on Matrix fingerprints at the plant. Some suspect all is not as it seems, but several inquiries have been placed recently as to the hacker’s whereabouts.

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