Shadowrun (Game thread)

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The Package

The landscape of Seattle has been altered irrevocably. Magic has returned. In the Sixth World, humans can walk down the street beside trolls, dwarves, and elves. Street samurai integrate cyberware technology into their bodies, and deckers cut their way into systems through the Matrix. Mega-corporations lord over governments with an iron fist. Moving through this realm are the Shadowrunners. Whether by magic, technology, or their words alone, these operatives work beyond their enemy's reach. Wherever there is need of some nefarious endeavor to undertake, some dangerous task to be fulfilled, you'll find a Shadowrunner.

Once again the runners are called upon by their fixer for a job. Mr. Johnson has asked to meet in a top-flight at Club Infinity around 9PM.

Adam didn't like it. Not because he thought it was unsafe, or because he was unarmed. He just didn't like leaving, especially when Daniel was out. With his trusty SMG strapped to his side, deck strapped to his side, and simple chothes strapped to him, he entered Club Infinity. The bouncer outside who would usually stop a thin, unremarkable human instead waved him right in.

He was expected.

He entered the club, with blaring techno music that he actually recognized playing, and began to look out anyone who might have a similar agenda to him. He doubted any fixer worth his salt would hire a lone decker for a job.

Riley nearly skidded to a halt as he approached the nightclub, taking a moment to let his goggles dangle around his neck and stretch a bit. There was a small tightening in the small of his back that vanished the moment he gave his vertebrae a good popping. He beamed up at the bouncer, giving him a Cub Scout salute as he moseyed on by, not really caring whether the guy knew he was expected or not. The first thing that was apparent to the runner was that this certainly wasn't like any of the dives he was used to. Never really one for the whole club scene, he figured he may as well try to enjoy himself on this rare occasion. So straight to the bar he went to hop atop one of the bar stools, though not before sliding past the lanky man, who appeared to be scouting the place out, with a brief, "'Scuse me, stretch."

Louis flew his drone a good distance above the streets, but low enough not so he didn't accidentally get buzzed by a much larger aircraft. "Club Infinity..." Louis spoke aloud in the cockpit of his Chariot. "...was that all you could dig up? You must be slipping Loti."

A response came not long after. "You're the one who wanted a job with good pay, I found you one. Don't be whining just because I couldn't vet the offer before the meeting."

Louis rolled his eyes as he saw the club come into view on one of his monitors. "Well, I guess we'll find out if this was actually worth the trip."

"You better not be thinking of wetting your whistle before the meeting! The last thing you need to be is drunk before a run!" Louis could tell that the good Madame was going to start regaling him with another one of his drunken escapades through her bar, so he decided to nip the awkward conversation in the bud.

"Wasn't even thinking about it, I'll catch you later, Loti." Louis shut the line down before parking the Chariot on the roof, nestling it between some ventilation equipment to make it hard to notice. Then, Marquis stepped out and took flight, not wanting his feet to touch the grimy top of the roof. After all, he was wearing one good suit, or rather, a well-stitched set of clothes that could be mistaken for a suit from a distance. A gift from home, one that Louis liked to take care of.

Once he made sure the Chariot wouldn't be found by anyone poking around, and, if that happened, it was well secured, he floated his way down to the main entrance of the club. He appearance caught many of the people in line by surprise, most probably never having seen a Pixie in their life. However, the bouncer clearly was expecting him, and ushered him inside before the surrounding people could start getting familiar with Louis.

From the corner of his eye, Louis spotted the bar, and found himself drifting towards it. Luckily for his sense, he snapped himself out of it. "Top-flight, top-flight...." Marpuis muttered to himself as he made towards the stairs.

Scarlet arrived at the club at around 7 covered in an illusion spell to make her look like an ordinary party goer. Shadowrun Rule #137: Always arrive early for the job meeting dressed as someone else. That way, when it turns out to be a trap, you were never there. From there, she made her way to the nearest watering hole, ordered drinks no self-respecting runner would ever drink - pouring them out while under the cover of illusions - and playing the part of a typical young Seattleite out for a good time while watching the club like a hawk.

As the time grew near and she'd seen sufficient evidence that the meet was legitimate (or as legitimate as running meets could be), she excused herself to the little-elf's room, changed illusions once more, and made her way to the precise site of the meeting. She let loose her microdrones for the "safe" recordings of the meeting (i.e. cameras pointing away from the Johnson)

The meeting itself was something of a mystery though this was hardly unusual. Anyone going by the name of "Mr. Johnson" was understandably concerned with his own security. Still, information was her defense and she hated not having any. Still, work was work and life rarely went how you wanted it so she made her way to the Johnson's table/room.

The runners are brought to the top floor. They pass a balcony and observation deck, where the holograms are suspended above the levels below, and into a soundproof room flanked by corporate security.

A man sits there. A tailored suit and simple dark shades to hide his eyes. More corporate guards stand watch. He waits patiently as they all arrive, looking over each in turn.

"Each of you came highly recommended. I understand you have not worked together, but I trust it will not be an issue. You can, of course, call me Mister Johnson. Now... my employers require a package delivered. We are prepared to offer 90,000 Nuyen- or the equivalent in corpscrip or CAS dollars, for the job."

"The package is a prototype engine. It's physical shape is a cylinder of several dozen cubic meters, weighing approximately 4,000 pounds. The machine is being moved between NeoNET laboratories by a convoy of armored trucks. In one week, they will reroute traffic and depart at 10:30 PM, reaching their destination by 12:00 AM. You are free to deliver it however you wish, so long as it does not attract official attention, and is delivered within 12 hours of its acquisition."

He reaches below the table, and pulls out a datachip. "This contains a Seattle map, with the convoy's route and dropoff points highlighted, and the commlink number, should you have any pressing questions. You will receive payment promptly upon delivery."

"A.. simple job, by any reckoning" he finishes.

Ooh, highly recommended, huh, thought Riley, reclined in his chair with his feet upon the table. Movin' on up, Riley, oh yes you are.

The runner absorbed the information Mr. Johnson was giving, or at least as much as someone with his attention span could. Not that there was much information given anyway, as simply as their employer had put it. He figured all the little details would be ironed out as they prepped for the job, which given the time frame seemed easy enough. Provided his co-workers were reliable, of course. It was difficult to tell since they hardly knew each other, but they seemed like they could hold their own. It's likely they wouldn't even be present if they couldn't. In fact, Riley realized he may be the only one who looked particularly questionable with one hand on a glass of whiskey and the other toying with his jacket's zipper. But, quite frankly, he simply didn't care what they thought one way or the other. He knew he was reliable, and that's all that mattered. "Alright, Mister Johnson, you can count me in."

Adam, after a polite gentleman escorted him to the meeting, stretched his arms and massaged his back a bit. While he comforted himself, he also tapped his deck, priming a wireless alarm to his datajack if any funky machinery were to appear.

As he entered the meeting, he took note of the characters that were to be running with him. A big troll, a shorter guy, some sort of pixie, and...

...daaayyymmmn. That elf girl is like a floodlight in the pitch black of this club.

He was hoping to impress her with his Matrix skills, but as the job was detailed he began to mentally sink lower and lower. Intercept an armored convoy? Steal a four thousand pound engine? Unless those trucks were Matrix-guided he was probably going to take up a support role on this one.

At any rate, dying would not get him laid, so it would be best not to half-ass it. "What will this engine be powering? Are we going to be faced with an army of deathbots if it gets where it's going?"

Nothing was simple in the shadows.

It was a lesson Jack-Off had learned the hard way; it was a lesson any runner seemed to learn the hard way. That this Mr. Johnson seemed so casual about how simple a task it would be bothered the troll. What bothered him even more, however, was the rumbling in his stomach. The decker hadn't eaten since yesterday afternoon. Nuyen had been scarce these days and despite Seattle being a hive of scum and villainy, competent shadowrunners were not in short supply. He had called in a few favours, even gotten Ronin to pull the few strings he had in this part of the world and was set up with what was supposed to be a low profile, cushy run to cut his teeth on. Simple, right?

Now things didn't seem so simple.

A four thousand pound prototype engine wasn't exactly what Jack-Off would call "low profile". Did their Mr. Johnson expect them to carry the thing out? This felt more like a job for a team of trained soldiers than a shadowrun, but who was he to complain? Some little shit that had jumped ship over to Seattle after the crackdown on SINless scum was getting too hot back in the Bronx, that's who. Nyuen was nyuen, no matter how you cut it and empty pockets wouldn't fill an empty belly. He needed the cash and this was a sizable score at that.

Pix was already probing NeoNET databanks for any information she could get her hands on. She had employee credentials, so there was no reason not to. They'd done it a million times before, letting the A.I. poke around company records just to turn the information against them. All they'd see was their prodigal program curiously sifting through information to absorb and utilize in her quest for knowledge. If the troll didn't know any better, he'd say the corps were even dumber than he was. Size and bureaucracy were the only things keeping them one step ahead in this game and even someone as slow as Jack-Off could realize that. Whatever edge you could get, right?

One thing still bothered him with this entire situation, and the troll's eyes glazed over as one of his new business partners was asking Mr. Johnson a question. He kept half of his tiny mind out of his own head, hoping to hear something that would put his mind at ease, but the strangest part of this job was pushing its way to the forefront: what was a global software conglomerate doing with a prototype engine?! It gnawed at him voraciously as he puzzled the conundrum half-heartedly. It was a rock and a hard place, to be sure. Ask your Johnson too many questions and you would be left bleeding out in an alleyway. Don't ask enough and you'd find yourself in the same predicament outside your target's base of operations. For now he'd let the discrepancy slide. The Johnson had mentioned a contact number, so maybe he'd make the query at a later time, when he ran out of options for finding out himself. For now, he was content on musing on the reasons himself and awaited the question the other tech-savvy looking human had asked. 

"Psst. Hey. Hey, big guy," whispered Riley, leaning towards the troll and trying to get his attention. The short runner was fixated on the data jack sticking right out of the troll's forehead and couldn't help but pry. "So uh...can you get some good music with that thing? Just, y'know, plug in a music player, then get Billboard's Top 100 of the '30s playin' in your head or something? I mean 'cause that'd be pretty sweet. How do they get those things in there, anyhow? Never really read into that. Musta had a hard time getting through that thick skull of yours, those doctors, huh? If I plugged you into a set a speakers, could I hear your thoughts? Nah, probably not. Would be pretty crazy though, amiright?"

Scarlet raised an eyebrow at the job. It certainly wasn't her usual fair. Normally she dealt with jobs involving hunting someone down rather than purportedly simple Grand Theft Engine. Still, she wasn't one to refuse a job. Already she was thinking of how she might accomplish the job. Of course, on her own she had no chance. Instead, she'd need to rely on the others. Of course, that had its own problems. for 1, she didn't trust any of them yet. That was minor of course; no one trusted anyone in the shadows. That was just a part of the life. The more important concern was determining what they all brought to the table to determine what they could pull off. Already she was thinking of ways to use her illusions to hide their theft; maybe a little Matrix hacking to reroute traffic and some muscle to remove the guards. It all seemed simple enough.

Of course, she was getting ahead of herself. There were more important things to do first. "Well, sounds like a fun job to me." she said, taking extra effort to sound like the airhead the camera's adored. "I accept." she said without a second thought before turning to see which others would accept.

Adam, awaiting the answer to his question, was also evaluating what was going on around him. First, as daddy's martial arts instructor told him in their weekly sessions (that he skipped past age 15), always size up your opponent properly. In the shadows, he learned quickly, everyone was your opponent.

A troll, one that...had a datajack, according to the smaller Human. Big motherfucker. Adam decided to ether make friends with him, or otherwise keep the hell out of his way. But he seemed like a...decker? Huh?

Whatever. Another human, about his size, and he was a leathery and scary looking motherfucker. He wasn't really intimidated, Daniel actually looked a lot like this man. He doubted that Daniel had the same interests as him, though.

Moving on, there was a smaller human. Conventional logic says that Adam was bigger, so he'd win in a fight, but he understands that even if his enemy knew nothing about fighting, they'd probably win anyway. Seems like a funny, and reasonable guy.

A...Pixie. But...a...what? Adam wasn't exactly familiar with them, so he'll clear out of the way.

Lastly, the only girl in their motley crew. She was an elf, with golden blond hair and stunning eyes and...

...

...Where was he? Whatever. Don't get on the group's bad side.

Quickly, he realized something after going over the group numbers again.

There was going to be a Matrix dick-swinging issue, sooner or later. They didn't have enough manpower to send everyone that wanted to go into the Matrix, at least once the heist was underway.

This required planning. Which required people skills.

Adam hoped he had enough people skills, as he awaited the answer to his question.

Marquis' wings fluttered with excitement at the prospect of a new job, betraying the calm demeanor he kept on his face. A low clicking sound could be faintly heard by all until Louis sighed deeply and got his shiny appendages under control. "Still the excitable little guy, aren't we?" A voice whispered in Louis' mind that was not his own. It was Comte, the Bourbon's precocious mage and Louis' former teacher.

Marquis couldn't help but give a small smile as he heard the words of a friend, and he slipped his hand into a pocket to grab hold of his focus to respond. "It helps to enjoy one's work, regardless of the actual goal of working. You think the team would be able to lift and carry around a 2-ton engine?"

Comte responded with a sound that could be best described as a vocal shrug. "Maybe, depends on how long you can keep you golems manifested. Either way, you'd need to save up your strength for the task, and be utterly drained afterward. Something to keep in mind-"

"Nevermind that, perhaps you should spend sometime vetting this Johnson here..." A new voice, Duc, the team's street-smart weapons specialist, decided to speak up. "A good payday means nothing if you get stabbed in the back, pay attention, listen to how he responds to questions. If this guy doesn't give up more info, I say we bolt."

"Fine, fine. Always so serious with you..." The mirth in Marquis' smile left him as his ears twitched to focus on the conversation at hand.

"What will this engine be powering? Are we going to be faced with an army of deathbots if it gets where it's going?"

"I'm afraid that information is unavailable." Mr Johnson says. "We will have a more complete answer after the package has been delivered."

"Well, sounds like a fun job to me." the elf cut in. "I accept."

"Good. I will leave you to your preparations."


Pix's info sweep had turned up several items. Internal files had reported a recent break-in at one of the megacorp's labs. A runner team had attacked the building, but were met with NeoNET's enforcers. The shadowrunners died to a man, and NeoNET had hastily upped their Matrix security presence in response. The result was a near blackout of information regarding what, if anything, had been targeted. In any case, it was obvious that NeoNET had suffered a major breach, and was moving their research out of the building to a secure location, by way of armored trucks.

"I'm afraid that information is unavailable." Mr Johnson says. "We will have a more complete answer after the package has been delivered."

Adam furrowed his brow, parsing together what this Johnson was saying. A small fluid idea was forming, involving ether a hijacking or a redirecting. He had no idea how much firepower would be guarding the convoy, but if it's a big deal like Mr. Johnson is implying, going in face-first doesn't seem smart.

There was one other piece of information he wanted, since no one else seemed to be speaking up.

"Alright. Once we grab the engine, what will be greeting us? Will we be leaving it at a drop, or handing it over to a friendly armed convoy?"

If they could run a few NeoNET cars into another Corp's territory, the ensuing fight could make an opening to take a truck or two. A dead drop, however, would mean taking it out of the car and holding position till their employer arrived.

"Well, sounds like a fun job to me. I accept."

There went any chance he was backing out now. Still, he wanted to put on a good show, and dying usually doesn't accompany that.

Things were getting far too suspicious. Jack-Off had taken his fair share of questionable runs, but this particular job was shaping up to be some sort of trap. Too much money and not enough information was being put onto the table and the Johnson was keeping his mouth shut. Probably for good reason, too. Was it a sting by Lonestar? Maybe everyone here had bitten off more then they should have chewed and were going to pay the price for nibbling on Corp crumbs. Whatever the case was, this Johnson needed to get a little more intimate with his crew or he'd be bleeding runners faster than they'd be bleeding for him.

His brooding didn't last for long, cut off by a familiar clinking noise. His eyes wandered from the Johnson to the Ares drone shuffling on the spot beside him. It was a tell-tale, devised to instruct Jack-Off that his partner in crime needed to link-up. The troll wasn't exactly the most subtle of beings, but this he could pull off in his sleep. With a skill honed over ten thousand practices, the decker knelt down to inspect the drone quickly, flipped open an armoured panel and flipped a switch which stopped the clanking drone. In reality, he had thumbed a data chip into his palm and as he stood up to his full height once more, he feigned fiddling with his own data jack and inserted the chip inside. Almost immediately, Matrix blended with reality as he began to regret the decision he had made.

A hauntingly beautiful fey magically manifested herself before him. To call her elf would have been an insult, her sylvan nature far exceeding anything that had graced the sixth world. She was dressed in an elegant, emerald evening gown. It was styled to look as if it had grown naturally around her body, only one shoulder on the left side connected to the gown by a breath taking rose coloured flower. Another cut was made at the legs, exposing her left and nearly covering her right to the floor. Her eyes were as golden as a sunrise and her hair as red as fire, flowing gently down to the small of her back. This vision of wild beauty kissed the troll on the cheek as she appeared and then draped herself across his arm before speaking.

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The string came in with an intoned cooing, her playful nature coming to bare. The troll simply grumbled at her antics. He wasn't in the mood for games, especially hers', and he wasn't about to scold her in front of a crowd of professional runners. The last thing he needed was for them to think he was insane. It was already hard enough to focus with one of his new "co-workers" acting like some smart-ass jobber. The A.I.'s good mood deflated at this, pushing herself away from her decker and looking quite cross at the rather cold greeting.

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Jack-Off visibly frowned at this revelation. Now the run seemed more suspicious than ever. Had they already sent a team in to try an extract the engine and failed? Or had that team been a noble sacrifice to spook NeoNET? Even more worrying was what could spook a AAA Megacorp into packing up shop so quickly? The decker would have to speak up to try and tease some information out of this Johnson or else they'd all likely get geeked.

"I ain't buyin' it," the troll said, rather crassly, casually twirling his bat against the ground for a little emphasis and intimidation. "Big AAA software Corp goin' head first into engineerin' after they barely crawled outta the crash? Plus, what could spook a Megacorp inta movin' shop ASAP? Sounds teh me a little too convenient for ya's all, if yer gettin' what I'm pitchin' out. I wanna know what's goin' down 'fore I put my hide on the line. Eh, wiseguy Mr. Johnson?"

Jack flew as fast as his enhanced muscles could take him. He knew he shouldn't have drawn out his fight with those loser corporate assassins Hell they didn't know a damn thing. Jack cloak fluttered behind him as he ran. He reached the front door of the club in blur. The bouncer motioned him in mumbling something about they were starting. He hoped this wouldn't affect his employment.

Jack found his way to the meeting point from the directions he received from Winston. God he hated these loud places at least the office would be sound proof. He moved past the guards without a word and saw the man know as Mr.Johnson along with a troll, a pixie, an elf, and two humans. Jack spoke to Mr.Johnson without even acknowledging the others his voice deep and stoic "Mr.Johnson. I hope my tardiness has not thrown me out the running for the job." Jack's one eye narrowed he hoped these new people would be more competent than his last team.

"Alright. Once we grab the engine, what will be greeting us? Will we be leaving it at a drop, or handing it over to a friendly armed convoy?"

We will have a pickup, yes. When the package is in your possession, you may call us over the commlink number and our men will be waiting at the location marked, along with your payment."

"I ain't buyin' it," Jack-Off spoke up. He twirled his bat along the floor. On both sides, the guards gripped their weapons more tightly, while Mr. Johnson shifted his weight, ready to bolt should the meeting take a disastrous turn.

"Big AAA software Corp goin' head first into engineerin' after they barely crawled outta the crash? Plus, what could spook a Megacorp inta movin' shop ASAP? Sounds teh me a little too convenient for ya's all, if yer gettin' what I'm pitchin' out. I wanna know what's goin' down 'fore I put my hide on the line. Eh, wiseguy Mr. Johnson?"

Mr. Johnson looked visibly shocked, his eyes narrowed, but returned.

"Of course. Such a dangerous business you run. Information can be the only thing keeping you from an abrupt end. I understand."

"You are the second team to be assembled for this assignment. The initial squad of runners attempted a raid on the lab where the package was held. They were able to penetrate into the building, but were set upon by NeoNET security forces before they could reach it, and have been annihilated."

"It is... unfortunate, but not entirely unfavorable. We now have the opportunity to gain access to the package while it is being transported with the convoy. That is the job available to you now..."

Having finished off his drink, Riley began to rap his knuckles on the table's side with one hand and drum his fingers on the armrest of his seat. He was getting antsy. Not because tensions were getting high, but because he was simply bored. Tall, bright, and ugly was grilling the hell out of their employer, Slim seemed to be conducting his own evaluations of the group, eyeing the suspiciously airy woman in particular, the apparently excitable pixie was content with just listening for the time being, meanwhile Mr. Johnson himself resembled a coiled spring, though for good reason. The troll was careless with his bat twirling. If there was a time and place to swing one's metaphorical codpiece for show, it certainly wasn't in front of employer. Even Riley knew that. Perhaps the guy just didn't have many people skills, which would explain why he ignored Riley completely, or that the troll was just plain rude.

Fortunately, in Riley's eyes, there was relief of tension in the room when another man had stepped through the door. The short runner was taken aback slightly, taking note of the man's attire that practically screamed 'ninja space pirate' and thought surely he would be an interesting conversationalist. Turning to face the newcomer in his reclined position, Riley threw his arms open in greeting, putting on a friendly smile. "Welcome to the party, you're just in time for orientation. C'mon, pull up a chair."

Scarlet waited until the Johnson and his entourage left before she spoke again. She'd listened to all the information they'd been given and had already correlated most of it. "Thanks for everything!" she called out, smiling just before they were out of range.

As soon as they were gone, the spy drones swooped down and powered off. With it, her stage personality (though not her appearance) changed. "Alright then. So as I see it this job has two major parts; the theft and the getaway. Before we can get down to planning either, let's see who's here. I'm Scarlet; Illusionist/Adept. I can double as Face if needed and I'm a a crack shot with a bow. Stealthy won't be a problem for me. I've also got some survival skills. Don't trust me with the tech end; it took me a week to find the power switch for these guys" she said, pointing at one of the deactivated drones.

"What about the rest of you?" she added, pointing at one of the others.


Adam smirked approvingly at the lovely elven beauty's drones as she pointed at him. Looking around to make sure no one was going to interrupt with their own introductions, he began his with a bow, his modest but intricate suit crinkling.

"Hello Scarlet. I am Adam Guysome, otherwise known on the matrix as 'Spector' or 'That one pretentious bithead'." Adam smiled and nodded to the rest of the group."

"Just by looking around, I can tell I'll be taking a support role till we need the help of The Matrix, or if we need a male Face. I'm pure-bred Decker, and I know my way around a gun about as well as an obstacle course." He gestured to his rail thin form and laughed along with whomever enjoyed his self-jab.

"Stealth won't be too big of a problem for tiny ol' me, and I'm as far away from the Edge as you can get, being the Rich-Boy-Scorned. Socialites are my specialty, you could say." He smiled first at Scarlet, then around the room.

He flipped his comm out and rolled it in his hand, "I only know one 'guy' though, but he's a hell of a fighter and saved my ass more times than I can count." Adam remembered one last thing, "Oh, and becides the jack, my body's clean." He said, almost bitterly.

"S'pose I'll go next then," announced the short runner, removing his feet from the table to lean forward. "Name's Riley, I'm great with a gun, and none too heavy on my feet. Speed, precision, and mobility are my areas of expertise. I'll get done what needs doin' on my part and split, puttin' holes in anyone that keeps me from doin' it. What else can I say? I like smooth jazz, long walks in the park, that satisfaction of peeling a Fruit Roll-Up off that plastic wrap, the smell of a good burger, and that warm sensation you feel inside after a swig of whiskey. Speakin' a-which, s'ere a minibar in here or somethin'? I could really use a refill."

Jack listened to the others as they spoke. Jack personally didn't care. It was just going to be another paycheck and maybe just one step closer to getting what he wanted. When it was his turn Jack spoke "My name is Jack also know as Jack the Ripper I'm a Street Samurai expert in assassination,firearms,and swordplay that;s all you need to know."

Jack eyed the rest of them he hoped they would be better than his last crew.

 

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