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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Run 03: The Grab
...forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us

The Dirt
The team is tasked with the kidnapping of a young girl, followed by delivery to a second team.

The Catch
The child is protected physically and electronically – care must be taken to avoid harming her during the extraction.

The Run
Things start off with a bang as the runners and Ms. Johnson are ambushed outside the Rattlesnake Cafe by a squad of Godz gangers. The team rolls out in force, killing many of the thugs (including the lieutenant). The Johnson, called “Lady Jade,” offers thanks and a 10% bonus. Weasel loots a custom Super Warhawk, and Egg renounces a life of public transportation by comandeering one of the ganger’s bikes.

With little solid information to go on besides the target’s name, investigation is called for. A combination of sleuthing and bribing reveals the girl’s home address. Aleph Null and Weasel stake out the house and crack the building’s PAN. Astral wards, outdoor cameras, and window sensors reveal a surprising level of security. They call it a night after six hours and set a watcher spirit to monitor the girl’s location. “Showbiz” Joe comes through with some discount laes with which to subdue her.

The next day, the spirit notifies Weasel about the girl’s departure, and the team surmises that she is being taken to school. Egg bribes a local cop contact to track the family sedan. When it appears that the bodyguard has stopped for breakfast, the group moves to intercept him. A tussle outside the diner draws unwelcome attention, but the man is soon subdued and everyone piles into his modified vehicle. They drive out to the Aurora Mall for six hours, where Weasel and Aleph Null kill time by winning a geocaching competition, and Egg babysits the bodyguard in the car.

When school lets out in the afternoon, the team drive out to pick up little Catherine. On the way, they drop the bodyguard off at the Cherry Creek Park. Egg deftly yanks her into the backseat but cannot quickly inject her with the sedative. Only after Weasel reaches back to help can the troll manage to sedate the panicked child. All that is left is to drive to the Warrens…

Although Aleph Null had the foresight to disable the image recording unit in the girl’s cybereyes, no one thought to check for tracking devices. The signal from the chip embedded in her left ankle allowed a paramilitary unit to intercept the group as they were driving out of the CAS. A rigged Ares Dragon helicopter, with a mounted HMG and a rappelling troll, moved to attack. Gunfire from the machine gun severely damages Aleph Null’s expensive Doble Revolution, so he falls back to make himself less of a target. Weasel summons a powerful air spirit to wreak havoc on the heli pilot, and Egg does his best to keep the car safe.

The enemy troll jumps down to the car and breaks into the backseat, although Weasel and Egg give him a hard time with gel rounds and sideswipes. The machine gunner stops firing and tries to dispel the air spirit, succeeding only after the elemental sucked the pilot out of the cockpit. Aleph Null takes advantage of the quiet to hack into the helicopter, directing it to return home before plugging out. With the aerial threat gone, Egg brings the car to a quick stop and, with Weasel’s timely remembering of his ability to cast spells, force the enemy troll to surrender.

The crew beat a quick path to the rendezvous site in the Aurora Warrens, where they meet the Black Cats. The handoff goes smoothly, and the Cats even help repair the damaged motorcycle. Lady Jade comes through with the payment; all’s well that ends well!

The Rest

  • News reports claim that during a standoff between kidnappers and Lone Star authorities, an unidentified sniper took the life of young Catherine Westmore. Although all kidnappers were killed during the confrontation, the shooter remains at large.
  • Lady Jade is deeply angered by what happened to the girl, but does not hold any of the team responsible. She is available as a contact (Loyalty 2 / Connection 3 Arms Dealer).
  • The Godz will hold a grudge for the bloody nose they received: -1 Standing.
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Run 02: Best Served Cold
One big shell game

The Dirt
An up-and-coming Ares executive was kidnapped from a corporate retreat, the owner of which (Jeron Falcone) was asked to pay a sizeable ransom. The runners were tasked with finding and returning the target alive, and, if possible, to identify the person responsible.

The Catch
Hidden agendas, misunderstandings, and subterfuge threatened to compromise the mission.

The Run
Our gallant mercs (minus Weasel) are summoned to a ranch to investigate the site of a kidnapping. They are joined by a mysterious rigger known as “No Nose,” a creepy masked human who spends most of his time in his van. They search the room and find a number of potential leads. Aleph-Null attempts to hack into Belenkiy’s commlink, to no avail, and Lyesmith interrogates the clueless ork receptionist, Jeff (which nearly ends with slipping him an unidentified drug). After a great deal of cogitating, their contacts point them to the Black Cats, a group of Sioux runners who were likely responsible for the abduction.

Lyesmith’s Johnson friend, Max Powers, called in a favor, so the social butterfly flew downtown to assist in a con job; the rest of the team went to an Amerindian dive bar called the Hardpan. Resident Sioux troll Egg remembered his heritage and handled the negotiations, getting a contact number for the Black Cats. A meet was arranged at the South Platte Park, and the team decided to investigate possible places the Sioux team might be hiding. Meanwhile, Lyesmith’s excursion hit some rockiness, with an elderly Japanese businessman, Mr. Ishikawa, firing at him point blank when the charade started to unravel. The grifters escaped, although the face suffered a severe wound.

At a local hideout, the team followed a pair of Sioux women to the meet, but hijacked their car to force an encounter. A convenient appearance by Weasel reveals that two strong spirits were guarding the women. Tense talks followed, and both groups agreed to reconvene at the motel to discuss the matter further. Following some discussions and covert peeping, it comes out that the Cats were hired by Ares. However, information bought from a shady online source known as the Void suggests that Falcone is setting the team up.

The Rest

  • The target was successfully retrieved and returned to his domicile in the Ares arcology; the Cats arranged for an alternate delivery, so the team met no resistance.
  • Falcone is glad the matter was resolved, but is not pleased about being accosted in his office. Do not expect any further work from him.
  • The Black Cats are glad things didn’t get violent. They are open to future work.
  • The Void remains at large, 2,500Y richer.
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Run 01: A Parliament of Thieves
Runners without Borders

The Dirt
Four runners were contracted by a bigwig in the Koshari Council (Pueblo crime syndicate) to make a discrete delivery across the sprawl to a bigwig in the Chavez family Mafia in a matter of hours.

The Catch
Other Denver elements attempted to derail the crew, knowingly and unknowingly, through coercion and violence.

The Run
Things got off to a bump when a group of rowdy bikers tried to accost the runners. Easily thwarted, they slunk away…biding their time. The team decided to drive a convoy of bikes and a van through Denver. Getting through the first checkpoint was a breeze, but during a traffic snarl, two groups of thugs approached the van, one Yakuza, one Triad. Attempts to purchase the package were rebuffed, and before any gangster could push back, one of the Triad’s handguns went off, striking Yakuza tough Jonny Ono. A firefight between the gangs ensued, at which point the runners made good their escape. The incident closed with poor Jonny getting run over by an out-of-control car.

The second checkpoint was uneventful for all but Weasel, who drew suspicion when he mentioned the Lakeside Amusement Park. He was detained and questioned but ultimately released with a warning. The rest of the team encountered a squad of bikers from the Fronts gang, intent on revenge. Good driving and wild shooting quickly shut the go-gangers down, and the team reunited at the Chavez manor.

The Rest

  • Package was delivered securely and on time. The runners did not discover its contents.
  • Both the Koshari and the Chavez Mafia are pleased with the results: +1 standing with both factions. Furthermore, Mark Longfeather and Michael are now Loyalty 1 contacts.
  • The Yakuza have lost face following the death of Jonny Ono, leading some to speculate that they will retaliate against the Triads, whom they blame for the debacle.
  • Likewise, the Fronts go-gang has become the laughingstock of the sprawl after one of their squads was brought down on the road. They know exactly who to blame: -1 standing.
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