Monday, November 2, 2015
Shadowrun Report – Valkyrie Ride – Session 3
[This session happened October 26th. NOTE: At some point this run (I can’t remember exactly which session) Murdoc cast a quickened Improve Reaction spell upon himself at Force 3, so he will be unusually high in the initiative order, let alone for a Mage.]
The Fin – female human con artist and gambler from India, by way of Russia, posh and elegant
Sin – male human rigger, knows exactly the wrong thing to say and says it
Void – female human physical adept B&E specialist, a shadow that blends in easily
Killroy – male human street samurai, specializes in hand-to-hand combat (and apparently machineguns)
Bookie – male elf alcoholic hacker, favors whiskey with a whiskey chaser
Murdoc – male elf kilt-wearing street mage, at home with the hobos
Prometheus – male human street samurai, handy with any firearm
Thursday, February 27, 2076
As part of last minute preparations, Sin contacted Kaylee and asked if she could arrange a rigged 6-person vehicle for him by 7:00 PM today. Kaylee asked how long would he need it and would he be returning it, to which Sin replied “3-4 hours” and “Yes”. Kaylee told him it would cost 3000¥, up front, but she would have a vehicle available. Sin transferred the money and Kaylee told him she’d call with the location and access codes when the vehicle was ready.
The Fin, meanwhile, was branching out into creative bookkeeping. She intended to leave as little of the expense money on the table after the run and was putting together inflated invoices for the equipment the Group purchased for this run. It occurred to her that Bookie had not mentioned paying coldpulse for the data she helped him acquire, so The Fin asked him what he’d paid coldpulse. Bookie was confused and said “nothing” – he’d just asked for her help. The Fin asked again and again Bookie said “nothing”. When The Fin asked a third time, it finally occurred to Bookie she was asking him to name an amount she could put on the expense budget, so he said “5000¥”. The Fin adjusted that number upwards for a nice profit margin and added it to the expense report for reimbursement by Mr. Johnson. Bookie promptly sent coldpulse 5000¥ and a message that there was no additional work for her, but the introduction to the datahaven was worthwhile.
Bookie arrived at the Federated-Boeing building in a cleaning crew jumpsuit and entered using the cleaning crew smart card. He was questioned by the security guard about being late, but told the guard he’d been called in on his day off to clean “a shitstorm” from one of the restrooms. The guard waved him through and wished him luck. Bookie then ducked into a restroom to shuck the cleaning crew jumpsuit, packing it away into a satchel (which also contained a spray can of fecal odor), and took a hit of Psyche. He then took the elevator up to the third floor.
The third floor was almost entirely one large cube farm. Moving like he belonged there [3 hits on 5 dice for Etiquette], Bookie walked the sparsely occupied cubes until he found an empty one that was isolated from any of the occupied cubes. He then pulled out his cyberdeck and connected directly into the cubes network interface. The interface was dead. Sigh. [Modern corporations disable network connections in unused offices and cubes to avoid this exact scenario and I see no reason for corporations in 2076 to have stopped the practice.]
Bookie left that cube and located an empty cube with an occupied adjacent cube. This was a little less secure physically, but he could tap into the live access point of the adjacent cube. Opening the rear kickplate of the cube, Bookie improvised a connection to the live access point for the adjacent cube without disrupting the signal [5 hits on his Hardware check]. The added benefit of this setup was that network security would identify his access point as belonging to the wageslave in the adjacent cube, not an unauthorized access from an empty cube. [Turns out, this was important.] He then accessed the local host directly.
The host interior was designed to look like an airport. The terminal area was the general access portion of the host. Near that were hangars that represented different data repositories. Across the “airfield” was a second set of hangar constructs behind a fence. These has a skunk icon on them, which Bookie recalled reading was the sign for the BR@T Skunkworks, the top secret projects the corporation was working on. He immediately headed over there.
Getting into the Skunkworks area was surprisingly easy for Bookie, as was accessing the first hangar he came to. The interior looked like an aircraft manufacturing plant with schematics of experimental planes hanging from the assembly line. Not certain what he was looking at [other than paydata], Bookie carefully examined the first prototype schematic for a data bomb before attempting to copy the data. [He rolled terribly.] This is when things started going against him.
Hidden in the data was indeed a data bomb, which detonated and triggered an alarm when Bookie attempted to copy the file. The biofeedback from detonation nearly knocked Bookie unconscious. As a Patrol IC rezzed up, Bookie quickly changed his icon to look like that of the wageslave whose access he was piggybacking. The Patrol IC immediately located him and alerted the host. Bookie took the moment to copy the (now unprotected) datafile, knowing the Patrol IC itself could not hurt him. Then the host rezzed up a Tar Baby IC.
Fleeing to the access point, Bookie had planned to copy the datafile to the wageslave’s equipment to further incriminate him or her, but he was unable to hide from the pursuing Patrol IC and was forced to jack out while still in VR. He was able to avoid passing out from the dumpshock, but was still seriously disoriented by the dumpshock and suffering the effects of the databomb. Additionally, he could hear the corporate employee’s in the cube farm starting to respond to the data alarms.
Wiping the blood from his nose, Bookie staggered to the restroom. He could tell a few people noticed him, but no one attempted to stop him. Inside the restroom he splashed water on his face to clean up and try to regain some focus. He remembered that the door to the Electrical room was across the hallway from the restroom and the service elevator was in there. He thought he might be able to escape that way, but he had to move quickly.
Taking some deep breathes to steady himself, he exited the restroom and stepped to the Electrical room door. Using the cleaning crew smart card, Bookie was able to enter the room, but the card got caught in the reader as he was trying to close the door and snapped in two [the effect of a glitch on the Etiquette roll to look calm]. With nothing to do for it, Bookie pulled out the cleaning crew jump suit and summoned the freight elevator.
While riding down in the elevator, Bookie liberally sprayed himself with the fecal odor spray as part of his cover story. On the ground floor, security was alert, but the odor wafting from Bookie both backed his story and kept anyone from wanting to stand near him long enough to question him in detail. He was waved out of the building along with his smell.
Sin, Void, Killroy, Murdoc, and Prometheus arrived at the address Kaylee supplied for the Ares Venture. The location was an old warehouse with a retractable roof. Inside was the aircraft. It was obviously a smuggler’s craft – it was stripped down for maximum cargo weight and painted flat black with “Fuck the Po-Po” in white on both sides. It was immediately obvious why Kaylee insisted the craft not be flown while the sun was up – Knight Errant being likely to take a dim view of the message painted on it. Sin started a pre-flight walk around, taking his time about it due to the modified nature of the aircraft. The rest of the group checked the parachutes and then settled in to wait.
Sin received a phone call from Kaylee, providing the location and access codes to an old Renault-Fiat Grand Caravan [a minivan]. It was configured as a service vehicle, so there were no side windows behind the front seats, which met Sin’s needs perfectly. He drove it to a family-style restaurant near where the run was going to happen and parked it for later use.
Void, Killroy, Murdoc, and Prometheus loaded into the Ares Venture, ready to go. Sin retracted the roof, climbed into his GMC Bulldog, and remotely piloted the Venture up and out of the warehouse. The aircraft mostly disappeared in the overcast sky, only the thrusters giving it away.
“Flying casually”, Sin placed the Ares Venture 610 meters [a little over 2000 ft] above the roof of the Federated-Boeing building. With a tight window to avoid looking suspicious, Void, Killroy, Murdoc, and Prometheus promptly jumped out of the craft, Murdoc parachuting in tandem with Void. With surprisingly little trouble [due to great rolls and the liberal use of Edge by Killroy and Prometheus], they all landed on the roof of the southern stairwell and gathered up their parachutes before any motion detectors were tripped.
While the others applied catalyst sticks to the stealth parachutes, Void tried to spoof the video camera watching the door to the stairs. After three minutes of trying, she admitted defeat. Killroy suggested he just cut through the roof with his katana. To avoid unnecessary noise, Murdoc cast his silence spell [at Force 2 to keep the area of effect to a manageable two-meter radius]. Killroy then cut through the roof and (after Void checked for any additional security in the stairwell) the group dropped into the stairs.
Having quietly descended 8 floors, Killroy opened the door to the 12th floor. He heard some talking, possibly telephone conversations, in the direction of their targets. The elevator lobby was empty and the door to the HRT team waiting area was closed. He saw the door to the first target office was partially open. Killroy stepped back inside the silence globe Murdoc was maintaining and reported what he had seen.
The team moved out, Killroy and Void in the lead, followed by Murdoc, with Prometheus behind, watching the rear. Killroy and Void got into position first. Listening to the woman’s telephone conversation, Killroy realized he’d heard that kind of talk before – she was a Johnson! He filed that away for later. Murdoc then moved into place just close enough that the office door was now in the silence globe.
Killroy rushed into the room, katana drawn. Sitting at the desk, facing away from the door was Lakeisha Erickson, who had just put her call on hold. She was just turning back to face her desk when Killroy attacked, killing her in one blow. Void was ready to assist in the kill, but instead unrolled a body bag and started putting the suddenly dead woman into it. She did nothing to clean up the spreading pool of blood.
Killroy immediately dashed out of the office to the door of the next one, signaling for Murdoc to follow. Murdoc attempted to hop the receptionist’s desk instead of walking around it, but it took two tries to do so. While Murdoc was attempting to get into position, Killroy listened to the next target’s conversation. The male in this office also seemed to be a Johnson. Murdoc finally moved into position, Killroy kicked the partially opened door the rest of the way open, and attacked the male in the office, Jasper Spears.
The dwarf, although surprised and injured, was able to draw his Defiance EX Shocker and shoot at Killroy, but missed widely. Realizing the dwarf was not dead, Murdoc stepped forward to get sight of him and cast a stun bolt on Jasper. Void, finished bagging the first dead body, rapidly moved to the second office, boosting her strength before throwing a knife into Jasper. Killroy followed with a second katana attack, which the dwarf mostly shrugged due to his armor and augmentations, allowing Void to get the fatal blow in with a second thrown blade. In the interim, Murdoc suppressed the astral signature of his spell to reduce the amount of evidence left behind.
End of session
[Matrix running takes more time than I planned, every time. As a result, we had to end the session mid-run. I need to put together a cheat sheet for data bombs that walks through the process of setting them, looking for them, disarming them, and them detonating and how that is handled. It took way too much time for me to locate the correct rolls, extending the time it took to do Bookie’s data run.]
[Next session will be the end of this run. No, really, it will be. Probably.]